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More people creating wills at younger age

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-03-22 15:15

The average age of testators in China continues to decline, and people in their 30s accounted for about one third of testators under 60 last year, a white paper has found, chinanews.com reported.

The findings of the white paper, released by the China Will Registration Center on Tuesday, are based on a big data analysis of some 250,000 copies of wills registered with the center, according to Chen Kai, director of the center's management committee.

The paper showed a change in social perceptions of wills. During the past decade, the average age of testators dropped to 68.13 from 77.43.

There's been a trend of making wills at an increasingly younger age. Since 2017, the number of testators under 60 has been increasing year by year. By 2022, among the testators under 60, the proportion of those in the age group of 30 to 39 stood at 29.74 percent.

There's a growing interest for wills among young people. Among the people who commented at the center's mini program on WeChat, about 35.9 percent are in their 20s, indicating that young people are open about creating wills.

Based on the big data analysis, around 98 percent of wills of young and middle-aged people include real estate, the most mentioned type of property. Following real estate, bank deposits are included in about 35 percent of wills. Also, there has been a significant increase in wills mentioning equities of companies. The data reflects the diversification of property types included in wills and an enhancement in residents' awareness of property protection these days.

According to the white paper, "preventing property from becoming unaccounted for" is the main risk considered by people under 30 who make wills; "avoiding property becoming unaccounted for" and "taking care of family" are the main considerations for people in their 30s who make wills; for those aged 50 to 59 years old, "risk of children's marriage" is their primary consideration.

The majority of young and middle-aged testators are married people, followed by divorced and remarried people, Chen said. The distribution of property is more complex and there is a greater risk to property for broken families and step-families, increasing the need for wills, he added.

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