85% of parents without basic plan to protect family's future: survey

85% of parents without basic plan to protect family's future: survey

Public Trust launches 'Family Promise' to simplify Wills, life insurance and enduring powers of attorney

Research commissioned by Public Trust has found that just 15% of New Zealand parents with children under 18 years of age have a Will, enduring powers of attorney and life insurance in place.*

The survey asked respondents about their greatest fears for their children's future and the plans they have made to take care of them.

Results showed that almost two in five of those parents did not have a Will (36%), nearly a third did not have life insurance (29%) and only one in five had established enduring powers of attorney (18%) to act for them in the event that they lose the capacity to make their own decisions. Over five out of six (85%) did not have all three.

Alex Polaschek, Public Trust's General Manager Personal & Business, says that the results show the vital ongoing need to communicate to New Zealand parents the importance of putting all three of these legal and financial plans in place to help take care of their family's future.  

"There's no doubt that becoming a parent is a demanding, busy time. In the midst of the immediate joys and demands that come with caring for a new child, sorting out a Will, enduring powers of attorney and life insurance can easily fall down the list of priorities.

"These three things all work together to help make sure that no matter what life throws at you, your family can be protected and continue to get the benefit of the things you've worked for," says Mr Polaschek.

He adds that while the results of the research showed that only a minority of new parents had all three of these important plans for the future in place, they also showed that parents' biggest fears for their children's future were around future financial security and physical well-being.

"All new parents want to do the right things for their loved ones by putting plans in place for their future, but we found that there's either a general lack of understanding when it comes to what to do, or people are finding it difficult to find the time," explains Mr Polaschek.

Mr Polaschek says the results support Public Trust's reasoning behind launching its latest initiative, called 'Family Promise', which combines a Will, life insurance and enduring powers of attorney in a single package.

He adds that the particularly low numbers of people appointing enduring powers of attorney reflects the fact that a lot of people may not understand why these documents are important, or where they fit into a family's plans for taking care of what matters to them.

"Where a Will allows you to specify how you'll provide for your loved ones - such as who you'd want as guardians for your children, or who you want to leave your assets to - enduring powers of attorney are there throughout life as a way of setting out who you would want to make decisions on your behalf if you're unable to, such as if you have a serious accident or illness," explains Mr Polaschek.

"Life insurance fits naturally into this mix as it can help to protect your family's financial situation if something happened to you," he adds.

Mr Polaschek says that the Family Promise package is now available through all Public Trust customer centres.

"It's about making these things easy for new and settled parents, so that they can relax knowing that they've got the future sorted for their family," he says.

Contact: Kate Necklen

Phone: 04-894 9730