If you haven’t, then you are not alone. A recent survey has found that half of Australians expecting a baby have not considered preparing this very important piece of paperwork.

The survey conducted by Will experts State Trustees as, for their Will awareness campaign –  I Will Week 2013 (17-23 June), revealed that 50 per cent of expecting Australians do not have a Will in place – and yet 81% of respondents were concerned about leaving their children without proper care if they die. The survey also found that 55 per cent of Australian parents with children under the age of 18 did not have a Will.

Moreover, it was revealed that, among parents who did have a Will, 48 per cent had not specified who they would like to be the guardian of their children if they pass away.

“When you’re expecting a new baby, preparing a Will is as important as keeping the overnight bag by the door,” says State Trustees General Manager Client Services Craig Dent.

“What dying without a Will can mean is that your important things – even your children – could be entrusted to somebody who is not your preferred choice. What this means is basic –  if you love them, make sure you protect them with a good Will.”

Another startling fact uncovered by the survey is that in choosing a guardian, 56 per cent said it is important that the guardian is family.

I Will Week poses the question, “Love it? Will it.”, to get people thinking about what matters most in their lives – be it their charities, children, partner, homes or precious things – and helps ensure it is protected for the future. I Will Week is also about debunking some of the myths people associate with Will preparation and showing that the process is simpler than it seems.

Other interesting results from the survey included:

  • Of those who have a Will, 59 per cent included their children as recipients of bequests
  • The top three reasons for Australians to include their partner in their Will are:
    1. Getting married (41 per cent)
    2. Having children (18 per cent)
    3. Buying a house together (5 per cent)
    4. Seventeen per cent of respondents said they had thought about leaving a family member or someone close to them out of their Will
    5. Family conflict rated as the biggest reason (35 per cent of respondents) for why they would leave someone out of their Will
    6. Forty-nine per cent of respondents were concerned about their family fighting over their inheritance when they passed away, a figure which rose to 64 per cent for those in step families and dropped to 49 per cent for those in natural families