Young Australians often underestimate the importance of a will and fail to plan ahead, according to a national study undertaken by the University of Queensland, QUT's Australian Centre for Health Law Research and Victoria University.
While Australia has one of the highest percentages of people with legal wills (59 per cent), there is concern that young adults think there is plenty of time in the future and do not consider wider implications.
This is just one of the findings of a four-year study titled Making and Challenging Wills that was released at a meeting of the Public Trustees on March 18 in Canberra. The project was undertaken in collaboration with the Public Trustees and was funded by the Australian Research Council Linkage Project scheme.
The project also looked at contestation of wills and estates both before the courts and where Public Trustees were involved. A key finding about contestation was that adult children are most likely to contest an estate and the research also outlines the economic and social costs of protracted contestation of estates.