Too few will to make a will

Many of those attending were among the 52.2 per cent of WA adults aged over 30 who have not made a will.

While people enjoy planning holidays, weddings, even birthday parties, relatively few invest the same time and effort in protecting their loved ones by documenting how they want their estate to be distributed if they suddenly die.

People put off making a will because they dislike addressing their own mortality or fear they will tempt fate.

Others wrongly believe that everything will go to their spouse, so why bother.

Beneficiaries of intestate estates (those estates where no will exists) are often surprised by how estates are distributed by the laws that govern their administration, with spouses potentially the most adversely affected.

Yet while encouraging people to make a will was the motivation behind WA Will Week, seminar attendees were interested in how to prevent potential disputes from estranged family members and how to make provisions for beneficiaries they fear are likely to squander their inheritance.

Blended and broken families and concerns about drug use and mental illness are just some of the challenges facing modern-day testators.

The need to have a will professionally prepared by the Public Trustee, or a lawyer specialising in wills and estate planning, is becoming increasingly evident by the growing number of wills being challenged or referred to the court for clarification or direction.

Professionally drafted wills are affordable; with the cost of a Public Trustee will typically ranging from $50 for concession cardholders, appointing the Public Trustee as executor, to $300 for non-concession and private executor wills.

They also charge very reasonable fees for deceased estate administration services, which are published in detail on the website www.publictrustee.wa.gov.au