Wills aren’t just for Boomers — everyone who is 18 years and over needs one
11 September 2023
For the first time ever, the entire country will be joining together to observe Australia’s inaugural National Wills Week.
Running from Monday 11 to Sunday 17 September 2023, the week has one key goal in mind: to bust the myth that advance life planning can wait until retirement.
One in five Queenslanders are reported to pass away without a valid Will, with a high portion of 18- to 25-year-olds falling within this category.
The Public Trustee of Queensland Samay Zhouand says National Wills Week offers a unique opportunity to normalise the conversation around advance life planning for those Australians who have a young adult in their life, or for those who are a young adult themselves.
“Everyone who is 18 years and over needs a Will,” Mr Zhouand says.
“Gen Z might even be surprised at how much is covered in a Will – it’s not only about belongings, but can also encompass the care of pets, insurance payouts, funeral arrangements, and even instructions for closing or memorialising online accounts.”
“Young adults know to consider tax returns, superannuation and voting when they turn 18 – so the more we encourage advance life planning to enter public discourse, the greater we’ll be able to safeguard our young adults and their loved ones in the future,” he says.
Research has shown that fear is one of the greatest barriers blocking the state’s 18- to 25-year-olds from engaging in end-of-life planning, but Queensland Law Society (QLS) President Chloé Kopilović says the process can be empowering.
“Sitting down with a solicitor to draft your estate planning documents, including your Will and Enduring Power of Attorney, will help to ensure your wishes are protected and carried out by loved ones,” says Ms Kopilović.
“QLS’s ‘Find A Solicitor’ search can help you locate a legal practitioner with expertise in Wills and Estates,” she says.
“I encourage everyone to make use of QLS’s free service to ensure you are seeking advice from a qualified practitioner.”
Second to making a Will, the Queensland Public Trustee is also urging young Australians to understand the importance of, and to make, an Enduring Power of Attorney, also known as an EPA.
“An EPA is a legal document, which can be completed at the time of writing a Will, that sets out who you would like to manage your financial and personal affairs if you are no longer able to make decisions yourself,” Mr Zhouand says.
“This may be necessary if, for example, you sustain an acquired head injury due to a significant car accident or sporting injury, or experience an intellectual or psychiatric disability,” he says.
All Australians are encouraged to start comfortable conversations about advance life planning this National Wills Week. More information can be found at www.willsweek.com.au.
To start your Will-making process, head to QLS’s ‘Find A Solicitor’ search tool, or contact your local solicitor, succession law practitioner, or the Public Trustee office and book an appointment.