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Estate planning is the focus of new research

A new study will seek to understand people's perceptions and understanding of estate planning.

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Health Law Research Centre is conducting a study on the process of making a will and distributing assets. 

The aim of the study is to explore the level of understanding people have surrounding asset distribution and intestacy.

Professor Ben White from QUT's Health Law Research Centre said that creating a will and estate planning can be difficult for people to address. Such issues can also be tricky when there are complex circumstances surrounding the division of the estate. 

"This research will help us better understand the special needs and interests of people in these situations and how they want to make plans for the future," explained Professor White.

"This will provide a basis to support targeted public education campaigns and also inform legal drafters of key issues of concerns for these cohorts."

QUT is currently looking for participants for the research and are interested in adults with impaired capacity making, individuals with international interests and people with assets valued at more than $3 million. There is also an interest in people over the age of 45 who have decided not create a will. 

Why is making a will important?

A will is made to distribute your assets once you are gone so that there is no dispute over who gets what.

The Queensland government states that a will can also appoint guardians for your children, establish trusts, be used to make bequests and appoint people to look after your health and financial needs should you lack the capacity to make these decisions for yourself. 

The Queensland government recommends that wills are reviewed and updated every three to five years or if there is a change in your personal circumstances such as marriage, divorce or the death of the executor of the will or a beneficiary.