COVID-19 fears lead to spike in online will inquiries - finder.com.au

Media Release

COVID-19 fears lead to spike in online will inquiries

        • 70% of Aussies are yet to prepare a will
        • Traffic to will preparation guides on Finder has increased by 127% since outbreak began
        • Things to consider when preparing a will during COVID-19

20 April 2020, Sydney, Australia – Millions of Aussies are leaving their families vulnerable by failing to prepare a will according to new research by Finder, Australia's most visited comparison site.

A recent Finder survey of 1,033 respondents revealed that 70% of Aussies – equivalent to 13 million people – are yet to write up a legal will.

Of those yet to prepare a will, one in three (34%) say they'd be prompted to do so if they became sick or terminally ill.

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb, traffic to Finder's guide on how to write a will has increased by 127% since the outbreak began in January.

Kate Browne, personal finance expert at Finder, said that during times of crisis, it's only natural that Aussies want to be prepared.

"As coronavirus continues to spread, many people – particularly older Australians – are starting to think about what would happen if they were to get sick.

"While the chances of getting really sick are low, we all want our family and friends to be protected if anything were to happen to us, and this is where drawing up a will can help.

"Regardless of the current situation, it's a good idea to have a will prepared anyway to ensure your assets are protected," she said.

Of those without a will, 24% said coming into sudden money would prompt them to draw one up. This is followed by getting married (22%) and buying a property (20%).

Almost one in three (31%) baby boomers are yet to get their affairs in order, along with 69% of generation X.

Browne said Aussies should use social distancing and staying at home as a chance to get on top of life admin.

"Most of us are now confined to the house with plenty of hours to fill. Use this time to tackle all that tedious life admin you've been putting off – including putting your will together.

"If you haven't already, it's worth checking your superannuation to see whether you're paying for life insurance and what this policy covers. You should also nominate a beneficiary if you haven't already done so," Browne said.

What would make you take out a will?
Having kids37%
Getting sick or terminally ill34%
Coming into money or sudden wealth24%
Getting married22%
Buying a property20%
Getting a divorce7%
Other2%

Source: Finder, March survey 2020

Things to consider when preparing a will during COVID-19
Social distancing measures may apply. In order to be valid, a will needs to be in writing, dated and signed in front of two witnesses. A distance of 1.5 metres away is okay during this time, but video witnessing or e-signatures are yet to be authorised.

Go online. You can purchase DIY will kits online or download an online template if you'd prefer to write it yourself. This way you won't need to venture out to public places like the post office. Just make sure it is properly witnessed.

There's no harm in getting life insurance now. You'll still be covered even if you purchased your policy after COVID-19 became a known event. Travel exceptions may apply, so check with your insurer first. Always check your super fund before taking out a policy to ensure you aren't already paying for cover.

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Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About Finder

Every month 2.6 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by three Australians: Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia and Jeremy Cabral. Since launching in 2006, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now have offices in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland and the Philippines. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

12.6 million average unique monthly audience (June- September 2019), Nielsen Digital Panel

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