Media Release

10 million Australians don’t have a will

  • 52% of Australian adults don’t have a will
  • Most just haven’t gotten around to it yet
  • Tips on creating a will

4 October 2018, Sydney, Australia – Millions of Australian adults don’t have a will, even though dying without one could mean leaving loved ones in the lurch, according to new research from finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything.

The survey of 2,011 Australians found that 52% – equivalent of 9.9 million adults – are running the risk of their estate being distributed by their state’s laws because they don’t have a will in place.

One third of Aussies (34%) said they haven’t got around to it yet, 14% said they don’t have enough assets to justify it and 4% said they don’t want one.

Kate Browne, Personal Finance Expert at finder.com.au, said that even though it may be an unpleasant thought, Aussies need to act even if they don’t have a large estate.

“Most people don’t like to think about their death and fewer still enjoy paperwork, but if you die without making a valid will, your assets could be distributed in a way you would not have chosen.

“The data shows one in seven people falsely believe that a will is only necessary if you have a large estate. Even if you don’t have a house or share portfolio, you may have money in super, jointly owned assets or a life insurance benefit that needs to be divided,” she said.

Unsurprisingly the research found Australians are more likely to have a will as they age.

Nearly eight in ten (79%) Baby Boomers have a will, while only one in five in Generation Y (20%) have one. Generation Z are the most clueless with 9% admitting they don’t know whether they have a will or not.

Browne said that making a will may seem unimportant, but it can really take the pressure off your loved ones making decisions about your assets for you.

“Nothing is certain but death and taxes so consider it your duty to prepare a will long before you need one -- your loved ones will always be better off if you do.

“Especially if you have kids under the age of 18, nominating someone as the guardian of your children is reason alone for getting a will in place,” she said.

Victorians and South Australians are least likely to have a say over their division of assets with 54% not having a will.

“Better you make a considered decision than have it happen by default and have your family live with the consequences after you’ve passed away,” Browne said.

StateYesNoNot sure
VIC41%54%5%
SA42%54%4%
NSW44%52%4%
WA45%53%2%
TAS48%52%0%
QLD50%47%3%

What to remember when creating a will

  • In order to be valid, a will needs to be in writing (either handwritten or typed) and dated and signed in front of two, preferably independent, witnesses who are not beneficiaries.
  • You can create a will with do-it-yourself kits, as long as it is properly witnessed.
  • Express your intentions clearly to reduce the chance of any argument over who you wanted to get what.
  • You can also opt to have a professional, like a solicitor or a public trustee of your state, create your will with you. If you are concerned about tax issues, this may be the best route for you to pursue.

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For further information

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 us

More than 3 million Australians turn to finder.com.au every month to save money, time and 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 two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, we’ve helped our users make more than 17 million decisions.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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