Almost 60% of adult Australians have made a will which is more favourable in comparison with the reported rates in the UK and the US.
Although it has been reported that the likelihood of making a will increases with age (93% of Australians over 70 have a will) half of the population aged 40-49 have a will; 35% of Australians under thirty with financial dependents have a will but most younger people do not have a will.
Although 40% of Australians do not have a will, over half are planning to make one – with procrastination the main reason for not having a current will.
Few people make a deliberate decision not to make a will; including having few assets, not having children or dependents, being from a cultural group in which will making is not normative behaviour and/or having confidence that family members will manage assets appropriately and a will is not needed.
Similarly, as most Australians have made binding superannuation nominations, and some non-will makers held assets jointly and they weren’t non-planners with few assets.
People usual make a will following an important life event- getting married, having children or buying a house were the main triggers for making a will. Importantly knowledge of the consequences of intestacy is not a motivation for either making or not making a will.
Becoming ill or the illness, death of a partner, relative or friend, acting as an executor, changes in family circumstances and planning to undertake long-distance travel are triggers to make a Will.
Currently, we are experiencing a medical crisis where a significant and ongoing person-to-person spread of an infectious disease is occurring in multiple countries around the world at the same time. The impact of coronavirus on the wider community is unprecedented.
If you wish to make a Will, contact me and I will be able to conveniently and expertly advise you on your estate and assist in preparing a simple will enabling the distribution of your estate in line with your wishes