Nearly 20 per cent of Australians have not made a will nor plan to make one in the future, opening up the potential for confusion in the event of their death.
The Australian Seniors Insurance Agency found just over half have already made a will and a further 22 per cent expect to make one in the future. But 19 per cent said they neither had one nor intended to get one.
Failing to make a will can lead to problems when it comes to dividing up a deceased’s assets without a clear beneficiary in mind and assets can end up being turned over to the state if no one eligible is found.
Kristy Hatcher, wills & estate litigation solicitor at Owen Hodge Lawyers, said: “Having an estate plan, preparing a will, enduring power of attorney & enduring guardianship is the only way you can empower your loved ones to assist you if you cannot manage your own affairs, and to carry out your wishes after your death.
“Too often these problems could have been easily avoided by having a proper estate plan in place.”
To make a will, the organisation said, people should determine their assets, decide how they would like them to be divided, write it and sign it, witnessed by two people who are over 18 and not a beneficiary of the assets. A will should be regularly reviewed to take into account changing circumstances such as marriage, divorce or children.
Although they can be done by yourself, it is more common to have one written up or reviewed by a solicitor.