Empowering Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities in Will-making
25 August 2023
More than 1 in 5 Queenslanders were born overseas, and more than 1 in 10 speak a language other than English at home. This culturally and linguistically diverse population – also referred to as CALD – adds to Queensland’s vibrant cultural landscape.
Throughout August, this rich diversity has been recognised as a part of Multicultural Queensland Month celebrations. Public Trustee of Queensland, Samay Zhouand says the month also presents a good opportunity to reflect on how cultural differences may affect people’s understanding of important services.
“Every country has its own laws relating to Wills and the distribution of a person’s assets when they die,” Mr Zhouand said. “The cultural way in which we deal with death in Australia and the documents surrounding it may be different than in someone’s country of birth,” he said.
In Queensland, if a person dies without a Will (also referred to as dying intestate), their assets and belongings are distributed in line with the Succession Act 1981. This means a person will not have a say in who benefits from their estate. The resulting process may create additional emotional and financial burden for their loved ones.
“That’s why it is so vital for all Queenslanders, born or migrated, to seek legal assistance and officially document their wishes,” said Mr Zhouand. “Completing this process also allows for people to arrange for money or assets to be sent abroad to family and friends, should that be the wishes outlined in their Will,” he said.
“Here at Queensland Public Trustee, we’re acutely aware that CALD communities looking to navigate our services might require additional assistance. Our team are on hand to help facilitate translators and other aids, so that we can better understand and support the members of the state’s CALD communities.”
Fact sheets and information on Wills, Power of Attorney, and Executors are available at www.pt.qld.gov.au.
To find accredited estate and life planning solicitors, visit the Queensland Law Society website at www.qls.com.au or call the Queensland Public Trustee on 1300 360 044.