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Strange bequests revealed in wills


A wheelbarrow was one item bequeathed in a will.

A wheelbarrow was one item bequeathed in a will.

A wheelbarrow was one item bequeathed in a will.

One in five young adults expects to be left a high-tech gadget in a will such as a laptop, an iPad, a television or a digital camera, according to research.

The Co-operative Legal Services found that 18 to 24-year-olds are three times as likely to expect to be left some sort of digital asset as those aged over 65.

Some 21% of those aged up to 24 years old anticipate they will have a gadget passed down to them as part of their inheritance, compared with 12% of the population generally.

Around 7% of those surveyed who were aged over 65 thought they would inherit some form of technology from a loved one.

The research also found that, as people live for longer and stretch out their retirement savings, less than half (40%) of those surveyed across the generations expect to receive money in a will.

Nearly one quarter (23%) think they will receive items of sentimental value, such as photograph albums, letters and cooking recipes which have been passed down the generations.

More unusual items people said they had already inherited included a stamp collection, an exercise bike and a wheelbarrow.

Looking at what people plan to leave to others, almost one quarter (22%) of men are planning to leave their music collection in their will, compared with one in eight (12%) women.

Books feature in 16% of wills, while family secrets have been written into 3% of wills and old, well-loved cooking recipes have been included in 4% of them, the research among more than 2,000 adults from across the UK suggests.

With more people having active lives beyond retirement age, more than half (57%) of those surveyed said they would rather their relatives spent what they had on enjoying themselves rather than worrying about having cash left to hand down.

Christina Blacklaws, director of policy at The Co-operative Legal Services, said: "It's important to remember that wills are about so much more than money."

PA Media