Australians are pretty good at making Wills with 59% having a Will and a further 22% expecting to make one – the interesting situation is that in the UK for example 58% of UK adults, including 27% of those between 60 and 69, haven’t made a will. In the U.S. nearly 60% of people don’t have a Will. With this in mind what are the impediments that need to be overcome to make what is in most cases a fairly simple and straightforward document.
The overwhelming question this begs is why don’t all adults have a Will? People give various reasons for not having a Will (most of which are false):
- I have never really thought about making a Will
- I don’t want to think about it as it’s tempting fate to discuss something that is related to my death.
- I don’t own that much so why go to the expense of making a Will
- If I don’t make a Will my Wife/Husband/Partner/Children will get my stuff any way so it’s not worth the expense of making a will.
We usually make Wills at a particular life stage such as getting married, having a child or buying or selling a house or other asset. Therefore its not surprising that older people and those with assets most commonly make wills. Unfortunately not all wills reflect the Will makers current intentions, circumstances or both.
A Will makes sure your loved ones are looked after at a difficult time. It is not only about the distribution of your assets but also assists to clarify your funeral arrangements, name the executor of your estate and who will be guardian to your children.
Viewing a Will as a planning document allows you to consider financial planning, powers of Attorney and advance care directives at the same time.
Also just as you revisit financial plans overtime you should make changes to your Will particularly if you have a family business you wish to leave your children, own assets overseas, have a disabled child or step children.
Some people believe that making a Will is like going to the Dentist – something that we begrudgingly do. However it is something to assist your loved ones and to plan for your family’s future. It should be part of your financial plan that includes life and income protection insurance, advance care directives and powers of attorney.