Making and Changing Wills: Prevalence, Predictors, and Triggers
SAGE Open, Pp. 1-11, February, 2016
11 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2016 Last revised: 14 Jul 2016
Date Written: 2016
Wills are important social, economic, and legal documents. Yet little is known about current will making practices and intentions. A comprehensive national database on the prevalence of will making in Australia was developed to identify who is or is not most likely to draw up a will and triggers for making and changing wills. A national survey of 2,405 adults aged above 18 years was administered by telephone in August and September 2012. Fifty-nine percent of the Australian adult population has a valid will, and the likelihood of will making increases with age and estate value. Efforts to get organized, especially in combination with life stage and asset changes trigger will making; procrastination, rather than a strong resistance, appears to explain not making a will. Understanding will making is timely in the context of predicted significant intergenerational transfers of wealth, changing demographics, and a renewed emphasis on retirement planning.
Keywords: Wills, Inheritance, Intergenerational Transfers, Succession Law
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