In exploration of the extraordinary: bold and beautiful bequests

At Queensland Public Trustee, we often get asked, what exactly can I leave, or organise to leave, my loved ones in my Will? Beyond the conventional gifts of material possessions, such as homes, cars, and family heirlooms, Wills have evolved into a canvas for both imaginative and personalised expressions of final wishes.

Simple household items, like a trusted Soda Stream, a Tupperware collection, or embroidered cushions may seem like trivial items to some, but may be highly sought after treasures by your nearest and dearest.

For the more romantic, we can reflect on the US comedian Jack Benny, who requested a local florist to deliver one long-stemmed red rose each day to his widow Mary Livingston, for the rest of her life. If spontaneous acts of kindness are more your style, consider the Portuguese aristocrat Luis Carlos de Noronha Cabral da Camara, who requested to divide his fortune amongst 70 strangers randomly selected from the Lisbon phone directory.

In addition to bequeathing loved possessions, a Will includes your funeral preferences, a chance to be as original in your departure as you like. In the USA, placing ashes into a large helium balloon that simply floats up into the clouds is growing in popularity. Once it reaches a temperature of -40 below zero, the balloon crystallizes and bursts, scattering the ashes peacefully into the four winds.

It is startling that only half of Queenslanders have a formal Will in place (Kantar Social Research 2023). Further, those who possess one often fall into the trap of 'set-and-forget,' presuming that their wishes will endure.

Debra Franks, Manager of Wills at Queensland Public Trustee, encourages Queenslanders to dedicate time this year to write or update your Will. Drawing inspiration from their wonderful customers, she encourages everyone to consider this as a creative process and a unique opportunity to express your individuality.

While the stories behind these bequests may leave us curious about the narrative and significance to the beneficiaries, one thing is certain – Queenslanders seize the opportunity to be bold and beautiful in the important process of Will-making.

Last published: 15/04/2024 11:21:12 PM