It’s Wills Week 2022 and this year’s focus is the need to plan ahead and protect your loved ones, including precious pets.
Public Trustee Samay Zhouand is calling on all Queenslanders to consider making a will and appointing someone to look after their pets.
“Talking about advance life planning can be confronting but it’s essential to plan ahead,” Mr Zhouand said.
“With more people working from home than ever before, there’s been a boom in pet ownership, and we’re encouraging everyone to consider who’ll take care of their beloved pets if they are no longer around.
“By making a will or giving someone enduring power of attorney to look after your affairs if you can’t, you can ensure your wishes will be taken into account.”
Mr Zhouand said it was never too early for an adult to make a will.
“Nearly 50 per cent of Queenslanders do not have a valid will, and almost 20 per cent die each year without one,” he said.
“This can create a tremendous amount of uncertainty and distress for those left behind by not knowing what steps to take.
“The Public Trustee provides access to information that can help people make informed choices about how to put plans in place to suit their individual needs and personal circumstances.
“This year you can visit our Wills Week website to register for free webinars hosted by the Public Trustee and Queensland Law Society, to find out more about making a will and enduring power of attorney. That website is www.willsweek.com.au.”
The RSPCA is supporting this year’s Wills Week, with its ‘Home Ever After’ program.
RSPCA Philanthropy Specialist Aileen McGregor-Lowndes said the program was the perfect option to help rehome pets if owners could no longer look after them.
“Those of us lucky to have animals in our lives really need to think about planning ahead if we’re rushed to hospital and our pets are left without someone to care for them,” Ms McGregor-Lowndes said.
“It’s really important to make a will and leave instructions about how you want your pet cared for – and by whom – so your wishes are taken into account.
“If you want the RSPCA to care for and rehome your pet, it’s a good idea to register your pet with us so we know about their needs, personality and preferences – everything from their favourite food to how they like to be cuddled.
“We’ll also need a copy of the instructions in your will to make sure your wishes are followed and to complete the registration of your pet.”
Queensland Law Society president Kara Thomson said supporting Queensland Wills Week was an opportunity to help educate Queenslanders about succession law, as well as the value of planning ahead.
“Not having a will means extra stress on your loved ones, and additional costs at a very difficult time,” Ms Thomson said.
“Making a will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family, but just as important is the conversation you have with a solicitor before you make a will. People are often surprised to learn that some of their assets may not be dealt with in their will, and other steps are necessary to implement an estate plan.
“It’s vital to have professional advice, and solicitors right across Queensland can provide this, including 43 accredited as specialists in succession law. You can find a solicitor to help you using our Find a Solicitor search tool on the Queensland Law Society website.”
For more information go to www.willsweek.com.au