How Gender and Other Identity Factors Influence Attitudes Toward Will Making: Lessons from Australia

49 ACTEC Law Journal (Forthcoming)

21 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2023

See all articles by Bridget J. Crawford

Bridget J. Crawford

Pace University School of Law

Tina Cockburn

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Kelly Purser

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Ho Fai Chan

Queensland University of Technology

Stephen Whyte

Queensland University of Technology

Uwe Dulleck

Queensland University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance

Date Written: August 1, 2023

Abstract

This essay aims to stimulate interest in further empirical study of attitudes toward will making by reporting the results of a 2022 survey conducted in Australia of the general population (n=1202) and legal professionals (n=112). We asked participants for their views about the ideal age at which to begin the will-making process and the relative contributions of the client and attorney to any resulting will. There was a discernible gender-based difference in views on both questions. Women preferred to initiate those conversations approximately six years earlier than men did and, especially at earlier life stages, preferred less professional input into the will-making process than men did. Income and education levels appear to have no impact on individuals’ responses to these questions. The sample population was sufficiently homogeneous that it is not possible to draw conclusions about how religious background or political views may impact preferences about when the first will-making conversation should occur or the desired relative contribution of the legal professional to the ultimate will.

Keywords: testation, wills, gender, behavioral economics, religion, politics

JEL Classification: K1, K11, K36

Suggested Citation

Crawford, Bridget J. and Cockburn, Tina and Purser, Kelly and Chan, Ho Fai and Whyte, Stephen and Dulleck, Uwe, How Gender and Other Identity Factors Influence Attitudes Toward Will Making: Lessons from Australia (August 1, 2023). 49 ACTEC Law Journal (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4528561

Bridget J. Crawford (Contact Author)

Pace University School of Law ( email )

78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States

Tina Cockburn

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

Kelly Purser

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

Ho Fai Chan

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

Stephen Whyte

Queensland University of Technology

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

Uwe Dulleck

Queensland University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

GPO Box 2434
2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Australia

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