Though the vast majority of Australians know that having a Will is important, about half don’t yet have one in place, according to a survey conducted by Owen Hodge Lawyers.
An overwhelming 97 per cent of survey respondents recognised that having a Will was important, yet only 52 per cent identified as having a Will.
A Will is a legal document which sets out who will receive your assets when you die.
For those without a Will the top three reasons identified for not yet having one in place included that respondents hadn’t gotten around to it, believed they would sort it out when they were older or didn’t think they had enough assets to make it worthwhile.
According to Rolf Howard, Managing Partner at Owen Hodge Lawyers, the survey results uncover many of the common misconceptions about why and when to make a Will.
“There’s a deep-seated assumption that Will making is a process for the elderly, however, if you leave making a Will and preparing for the future until that point it is often too late.”
“Unfortunately the reality of life is that we never know what’s around the corner. If we don’t prepare early, we can be robbed of the chance to have our wishes known and executed, and loved ones taken care of, should we pass away or become incapacitated.”
Mr Howard goes on to suggest, “Estate planning should in fact take place as children are born. Children are most vulnerable to the impacts of a Will not being in place when they are young.”
”Owen Hodge Lawyers recommends including nominating a guardian to take care of children if both parents are to pass away, investing in life insurance and making a Will to the to-do-list when expecting children.”
40 per cent of survey respondents admitted to having not nominated who would look after their children if they and their spouse were to pass away suddenly and 57 per cent didn’t have life insurance.
Mr Howard says “Making a Will need not be an intimidating process. With the right legal advice you can ensure your family will be protected and your wishes respected down the line.”