Recent unpredictable life events have compelled half the nation to think about creating a will, according to a new survey* released today to coincide with National Do Your Will Month.
The new survey of 1,000 Australians aged between 18 and 64 commissioned by State Trustees, Victoria’s largest and most trusted provider of wills, revealed almost half of Australians (47 per cent) have considered making a will due to recent events, including the global pandemic and the 2020 summer bushfires.
While almost all Australians (91 per cent) agree that it’s either very important or somewhat important to have a will, more than half (58 per cent) currently don’t have one in place.
“Today marks the start of National Do Your Will Month and we’re encouraging all Australians - regardless of age, situation or circumstance - to take action and create a will during March,” said Michael Spiegel, State Trustees’ Executive General Manager of Trustee Services.
“Natural disasters and the COVID-19 outbreak have proven that life is uncertain and you’re never too young to get your affairs in order. It’s been a challenging time for most people. Making a valid will is a positive step you can take to provide for the people you care about, while offering you peace of mind when it comes to your assets and finances.”
Despite its importance, creating a will is still low on the priority list for most people, according to the survey. Getting a health check, renewing a passport or driver’s licence, organising tax, reviewing super or health insurance, arranging car servicing, home repairs and renovations are all considered more important things to do than making a will.
Survey respondents also claim they would rather do household chores (44 per cent), go to the dentist (30 per cent) and donate blood or get a needle (27 per cent) before they create a will.
“No one likes to think of death or dying, which can put people off creating a will. Some people believe they don’t need one or it’s too hard or expensive to do, and often people don’t think about getting one until something unexpected happens or their circumstances change,” said Mr Spiegel.
Other key findings include:
• The main reason Australians don’t have a will is because they haven’t got around to it yet (48 per cent). 38 per cent said they don’t know where to start and 30 per cent believe they’re too young and will only consider creating one when they’re older.
• Respondents with a will (42 per cent) said their main motivations to create one are to decide who receives their assets (52 per cent), reduce stress for loved ones when they’re gone (51 per cent), have peace of mind (46 per cent) and to make a difficult time less difficult for others (37 per cent).
• When it comes to being buried, most Australians want to be cremated (40 per cent), with more than a quarter (27 per cent) claiming they want to be buried in a cemetery, while 14 per cent said they want their ashes to be scattered into the sea.
“Creating a will through State Trustees is easy and affordable. We have decades of experience in wills and estate law. Whether you need to make your first will or update an existing one, we have flexible options to suit everyone,” said Mr Spiegel.
From do-it-yourself Will Kits and Online Wills to personalised and private Will Consultations, State Trustees offers a range of products and services no matter what life stage you’re in. Best of all, State Trustees is offering 20 per cent off all its Will products during National Do Your Will Month.
“Creating your will through State Trustees also means you can securely store your documents through the Victorian Will and Powers of Attorney Registry. This service is free for all Victorians. We also provide access to free tools and resources on will preparation to make every step as stress-free as possible,” Mr Spiegel said.
“Tomorrow is never promised, so there’s no better time than now to put pen to paper. Your will is often your last message to your loved ones and ensures your wishes are clearly laid out in a legal document. We help more Victorians write their wills than any other organisation. With an 80-year history, we understand all aspects of the law and we have decades of experience helping people over the emotional and legal bumps that come with writing a will,” he said.
During National Do Your Will Month, State Trustees’ Will Kits are priced at $25.20, with Online Wills at $96. Will consultations begin from $77.60. These prices include the 20 per cent off discount and are available throughout the month of March.
For more information on State Trustees’ Do Your Will Month and its range of products and services, visit: https://www.statetrustees.com.au/wills