Making and Changing Wills: Prevalence, Predictors, and Triggers

Cheryl Tilse, Jill E Wilson, Ben P White, L. Rosenman, R Feeney, T Strub

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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. © 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSage Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


Cite this

Tilse, C., Wilson, J. E., White, B. P., Rosenman, L., Feeney, R., & Strub, T. (2016). Making and Changing Wills: Prevalence, Predictors, and Triggers. Sage Open, 6(1), 1-11.