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If you don’t, who will? 12 million Australians have no estate plans

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Australians are ill-equipped for an untimely death, according to new research by Finder.

A nationally representative survey of 1,054 respondents revealed 60% of Australians – equivalent to 12 million people – do not have a will.

That's despite a 33% uptick in people taking one out during the pandemic.

The research found 40% of Australians have prepared a will – up from 30% in March 2020.

Getting sick or terminally ill would prompt almost 1 in 2 (46%) to take out a will, while 2 in 5 (41%) would only do so if they were to have kids.

More than 1 in 3 (36%) said coming into money or sudden wealth would motivate them to take out a will.

Nothing would provoke 14% – equivalent to 2.8 million people – to take out a will.

James Martin, insurance expert at Finder, said since the pandemic the rise in Australians taking out a will has been quite substantial.

"The global pandemic brought into sharp focus our own mortality and many Australians took this as an opportunity to get their affairs in order.

"Some even got their hands on online kits available to ensure they were covered for the unpredictable."

Less than 1 in 3 (31%) Aussie women have their affairs in order, compared to half of men (50%).

Martin said while estate planning can seem morbid and gloomy, planning now can save your loved ones plenty of stress and heartache in the future.

"The biggest benefit of drawing up a will is the peace of mind it brings in ensuring your hard-earned assets are distributed among those you wish.

"By developing a comprehensive estate plan, you can guarantee that your assets go to the right people.

"Estate planning is about much more than just dividing up your finances; it also allows you to ensure that you receive the medical care you want, that your children are properly cared for if you die unexpectedly, and even that you're given the funeral you want," Martin said.

Do you have a will?
I don't know2%
Source: Finder survey of 1,054 respondents, October 2022
What would make you take out a will?
Getting sick/terminally ill46%
Having kids41%
Coming into money/sudden wealth36%
Buying a property26%
Getting married25%
Nothing would make me take out a will14%
Getting a divorce6%
Source: Finder survey of 612 respondents without a will, October 2022
*Respondents could select up to 3 options.

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