Queenslanders demand for Wills increased by 30%
With COVID-19 restrictions in place, Queenslanders are using their time in isolation to get their affairs in order causing a spike in Will appointments at the Public Trustee.
Acting Public Trustee of Queensland and CEO Samay Zhouand said the Public Trustee had seen a 30 per cent increase in Will appointments across the State since March.
“The Coronavirus has presented many challenges for Queenslanders, but it’s also given people time to take care of personal matters as they reflect on their priorities and what’s important,” Mr Zhouand said.
“Making or updating your Will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family,” he said.
“A Will can legally protect your spouse, children and assets and details how you would like your estate to be handled.”
Mr Zhouand said making a Will removes the doubts and difficulties, and in some instances family conflicts, that can arise when there is no evidence of the deceased person’s wishes.
Research indicates that more than 50 per cent or 10 million Australian’s don’t have a Will with a large percentage of people that ‘just haven’t got around to it yet’.
“The fact that Queenslanders are using this time to get their affairs in order is a positive step for their families,” Mr Zhouand said.
“People who plan for their future and talk to their loved ones about their life plans avoid the hardship and stress for their families at an already difficult time.
“To ensure you have a valid Will, see a local solicitor, legal firm or practitioner that specialises in Succession Law or contact the Public Trustee.”
Raising awareness about the importance of having a valid Will, and making sure it’s as easy as possible to update your wishes is an important role for the Public Trustee within the community.
Mr Zhouand said another trap that people fall into is their Will becomes invalid. If you get married, divorced or have a child, these life changing events can dictate your legal beneficiaries – meaning you might leave your legacy to someone against your wishes,” he said. (See more information below on times of life when people need to update their Will for it to be valid.)
Mr Zhouand said following the State Government’s announcement last week of new legislation to aid legal transactions during Coronavirus restrictions, the Public Trustee was exploring ways to offer appointments via video conferencing.
“We are currently piloting a Wills by video conference program in Beaudesert in partnership with other government agencies. The service aims to provide greater access and convenience to those living in rural areas,” Mr Zhouand said. To make or update your Will visit your local solicitor or a legal firm or practitioner that specialises in Succession Law. Alternatively, you can contact the Public Trustee on 1300 360 044.
For more information visit www.pt.qld.gov.au
Times when you need to update your Will:
- Birth of child or grandchild
- Marriage or moving in with your partner
- Separation or divorce
- Death of a spouse, partner or executor
- Changing residences or buying a house
- A change to your assets or finances
- Travelling or moving overseas