More than half of all adults in the North East have made no will, a new survey has revealed.
The study, carried out by Will Aid, which runs a will-writing campaign for charity every year, found that 51.5% of over 18s in the region have not prepared this vital piece of paperwork.
Peter de Vena Franks, campaign director for Will Aid, said: “Every year we carry out a poll to work out how many Britons have no will in place and the figures are always shocking.
"Will Aid is a fantastic way to tick this important piece of paperwork off your to-do list, while also making a real difference with a charitable donation.”
Across the UK, 51% of Britons do not have a will. In Northern Ireland almost 64% admitted they had no will, while 53% of Scots hadn't got around to it either.
The Welsh were the most organised, with just 41% with no will.
Comedian Graham Norton, patron of Will Aid, said: “In my life I have come face to face with death on two occasions.
"On the first, my own life was threatened after I was stabbed during a mugging in Queen’s Park and lost nearly half my blood.
"The second involved the loss of my father Billy, who died shortly after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
“Both made me realise that life is too short. And both made me accept that death is very, very final. There are no comebacks, revivals or retaliations.
"A will is therefore a vital document that allows you to pass on your final wishes to the people you love most.
“It is also the only way to ensure those people are provided for. Making a Will with Will Aid means peace of mind.
"You never know what is around the corner and drawing up this simple document allows you to continue living each day to the full without worrying about what happens after the thunderbolt.”
Will Aid Month, which takes place every November, encourages people to write a will with the help of a professional solicitor.
Law firms pledge their time to write basic wills, with clients making a voluntary donation to Will Aid instead. Donations support the vital work of the nine partner charities.
The recommended donation for your basic Will Aid will is £95 for a single will and £150 for a pair of mirror wills.
Those who wish to book a will can make their November appointments from September onwards.
Last year Will Aid raised more than £1.25million for its charity partners – ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland).
For more information visit www.willaid.org.uk