Making and changing wills: Prevalence, predictors, and triggers

Tilse, Cheryl, Wilson, Jill, White, Benjamin P., Rosenman, Linda, Feeney, Rachel, & Strub, Tanya (2016) Making and changing wills: Prevalence, predictors, and triggers. Sage Open.

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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.

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ID Code: 93233
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Wills, Inheritance, Intergenerational transfers, Succession law
DOI: 10.1177/2158244016631021
ISSN: 2158-2440
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law and Society (180119)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Deposited On: 25 Feb 2016 22:06
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2016 05:44

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