Poll: have you made a will?

We’ve been talking in the office this morning about who among us has made a will and who hasn’t. Someone was quoting a statistic that the proportion of Australians who die intestate is somewhere between 40% and 50%. Almost all of us in the office group here have made a will, but we’re working in the insurance industry and so we’re not really typical in our awareness of the advisability of doing so.

The 40%-50% figure strikes me as very high. Are people aware whether the rate is similar in other countries?

And, the poll:

  1. Have you made a will?
  2. If yes, at what age did you first make a will?

Yes, but I don’t know where it went. So we need to redo ours.

We did them two years ago, for immigration reasons.

Yes. My first will was made when I was 30 and I have updated it within the last month after a relative passed interstate. I think it is important to have a current Will when you have minor children but I am not sure how much I’ll care after they are grown and on their own.

1.) No.
2.) Turn 29 in two weeks.

OTOH, I was just speaking with a friend who is a financial adviser and was giving me some quite compelling reason to write one, even though I don’t have much to my name.

  1. I haven’t yet, but have been seriously thinking about it
  2. creeping up on 49 with assorted health problems

Don’t have a will. I’m 29. It’s one of those things I know I should do but as I currently have no income, no significant assets and no children it hasn’t seemed particularly urgent.

** 1. Have you made a will?** Yes.

** 2. If yes, at what age did you first make a will? ** About 29, when the first of our sons was born and we bought the house. I need to update my Will, however. I assumed that 25 would be a suitably mature age to inherit my vast wealth, should I cark it soon. 25 year old sons, I have discovered, aren’t as mature as they used to be.

I don’t have one and I’ve probably drafted about 100 of them. I’m 32. At this point, my wife and I don’t really need one as the house and all of our accounts are in both names. If and when we have kids, I’ll draft one.

Kind of. When our net worth started adding up we wrote down our intentions and signed it, leaving a copy with two relatives. We should probably have something more official drawn up, but what we wrote was fair and I don’t think it would be easy argue it. Basically we didn’t want my husband’s greedy and sometimes crazy sister to flip out and try to take everything if we both die in a plane crash or something. I was 23 and he was 26 when we wrote the will. No kids or health problems then or now.

I have not. The reason is that the people I’d set as beneficiaries are exactly the same people that benefit according to Navarrese law.

I’ve made a great many wills.

[sub](I’m a lawyer who makes wills for clients.)[/sub]

Yes: I made it at the age of 54, shortly before I moved to the US, partly because I suspected that owning property in several jurisdictions would add to the complications of dying intestate. My wife made her will at the same time: basically, we each leave everything to each other, and if the other dies first or at the same time, everything in equal shares to our children.

How important is a will if you don’t have major assets? Surely the answer is NOT VERY!

Before one of my many operations I went to have a will made. The lawyer told me that since I was planning on leaving everything to my mother, he would save me the money and not do one. He said that everything would go to my next of kin (my mother) anyway.

So, no.

  1. Yes.
  2. When my wife and I were 39, last year. We looked around one day and realized that we had accumulated some substantial assets, as well as two kids, and didn’t want things to get messy in probate if we happened to expire unexpectedly. We probably could have gone the computer software will-generation route, but we wanted to make sure we had all bases covered so we went to a pretty well-respected law firm and they took care of it for around $400. For the resulting peace of mind, it was well worth it.

Yes, but mine needs to be revised. We made our wills before we married, and prior to anything that would need to be divvied up.

I don’t have a will, but my doctor’s office gave me a form for a living will earlier this week. I suppose it would be a good idea but it’s not something I’ve ever thought of for myself. I’m 21.

My wife and I finally decided to be adults so we bought life insurance and had our wills done about 4 years ago. Which reminds me, I need to update my will since the birth of my second niece.

Yes, my wife and I have a will. For us, like for others, the impetus was having kids. And a house. Just as important as the will are the instructions you leave for the guardianship of your children. Those are more of a nuisance, since in our case, the original guardians are now divorced, and we haven’t yet updated the instructions. If my wife and I die tomorrow, I hope this post is admissible in court as evidence that we’ve changed our minds about the original arrangement.

Well, it’s cheaper than going to the lawyer, anyway.

Nope. I am single with no real property. My retirement is set up to split between my parents. My life insurance goes to my parents and is enough to bury me.

I do send an updated version of my “What to do if I die” letter to my parents regularly, with account information and the instructions for my funeral Mass.