Residents urged to plan ahead
THE Public Trustee of Queensland are reminding people how important it is to have an up-to-date will this Wills Week.
Queensland Wills Week is held annually to raise awareness about the importance of planning ahead.
Life changes such as a marriage, separation, divorce, birth of a child or grandchild or significant changes in personal finances can impact on your will.
The Public Trustee of Queensland Samay Zhouand said there are cases where your will can be considered invalid.
“For example, your will becomes invalid if you get married or enter into a civil partnership,” he said.
“It needs to be updated if you separate, divorce or end a civil partnership or a de facto relationship. As people come in and out of your life, your wishes may change.
“Having a valid will that reflects your current wishes not only reduces the burden on your loved ones, but it can also reduce family conflict and delays in settling your estate.”
Research shows each year around 20 per cent of Australians die ‘intestate’, which means without a valid will.
If you die intestate, your estate would firstly go to your spouse or de facto partner and then to your children. If you have no spouse or children, the estate would go to your parents and then to your siblings and their children.
This Queensland Wills Week is held in collaboration with Queensland Law Society, the peak representative body for the legal profession in Queensland.
Queensland Law Society President Luke Murphy said teaming up with the Public Trustee for Queensland Wills Week was an opportunity to help educate Queenslanders about the complexities of succession law, as well as the value of planning ahead.
“Having an expert prepare your will now in a considered way provides peace of mind that in the future a proper distribution of your estate happens, limiting any potential debate about what your will means,” Mr Murphy said.
“We urge anyone who is making or updating a will to get specialist advice to protect you and your loved ones.”
Mr Zhouand said by understanding the importance, the Public Trustee hoped to ensure more Queenslanders had a valid will and prioritised advance life planning.
“Making sure your wishes are known ensures your estate is distributed the way you choose, and protects and supports the people you love,” he said.
“We recommend everybody seeks professional advice to make an informed decision about their individual circumstances. This can be done through a local solicitor, a legal firm specialising in succession law or the Public Trustee.”
For more information or to make an appointment with the Public Trustee visit www.pt.qld.gov.au
For more information about advance life planning visit www.willsweek.com.au