Taking control starts with your Will

With a new autumnal season in full swing and International Women’s Day celebrations held across the world at the start of March, it’s timely to reflect on the achievements of our ancestral sisters and their powerful social action over the past decades.

A clear example of positive change is women’s participation in paid work in Australia, which has increased considerably since the 1960s. In 2020, women made up almost half of the paid workforce, compared to approximately 30% in 1966.[1]

However, a pre-COVID cross national survey, from 2001-2018, has highlighted Australia’s population level of psychological distress has increased significantly, with levels highest in women, and with rates inversely associated with income.[2] Further, women aged 55–64, with very-high distress rose significantly and substantially from 3.5 to 7.2% and high/very-high distress, from 12.4 to 18.7%.

To unpack the possible causes of this distress, let’s put our feet into the shoes of a young stay-at-home mother in the 1960’s. She formed part of that 70% majority cohort that worked at home for a large portion of her life and is now in her retirement years and possibly unsure where to start when it comes to taking control of her future.

One simple place to start is to prepare a Will. Taking full account of your personal and shared assets is important, not only for loved ones to know your final wishes, but it also helps you to consider your financial circumstances and individual entitlements.

It’s important to note, that you don’t need to enter specific assets in your Will, you can simply choose to reference your estate, or portion thereof, to specific beneficiaries. In addition, letters of circumstance can also be kept with the Will documentation itself. These documents capture circumstantial detail behind your intentions, which provides a huge amount of understanding into your personal situation.

Sherlene Lee, Assistant Wills Manager at QPT adds, “You also never know what’s around the corner, an inheritance, a gift, a payout or possibly a win of some kind can put you in a very different financial position tomorrow than you are in today.”

Jennifer Black, CEO of Queensland Association for Mental Health, says, “Writing a Will can provide you with an enormous amount of peace of mind. It’s a personal step forward that puts you in control of your final wishes. Irrespective of your monetary wealth, making your intentions clear, gives you autonomy and your voice to be heard.”

Small steps in the right direction will compound positively overtime and supports a shift in mindset into a place of control, rather than reaction. Learn more on Wills at Home - The Public Trustee of Queensland (pt.qld.gov.au)


[1] Changing female employment over time | Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au)

[2] Mental Health in Australia: Psychological Distress Reported in Six Consecutive Cross-Sectional National Surveys From 2001 to 2018  Frontiers | Mental Health in Australia: Psychological Distress Reported in Six Consecutive Cross-Sectional National Surveys From 2001 to 2018 (frontiersin.org)

Last published: 15/04/2024 11:21:22 PM