State Trustees encourages Victorians to protect their heritage during Will Week 2019
A vast array of heritage is at risk of being forgotten due to people not having a will. In fact, recent research shows more than half of Victorians still do not have a will.
Victoria is considered Australia’s most multicultural state 1 with 49% of Victorians being immigrants or being born to immigrant parents.2 This results in many family heirlooms and legacies from all over the world needing to be considered in a will.
“From overseas property investments to 16th century fine china, Australia is the custodial home to a vast number of international treasures. We also have plenty of our own, more-recent history to protect – like the war-time relics of a former Qantas CEO”, says State Trustees CEO, Matt Carrick.
“As the financial year draws to a close, State Trustees is running its annual Will Week (May 6th – May 12th) to remind people of the importance of having a legal will and knowing where to find it should the unthinkable happen”, he adds.
“While the majority of Victorians aged over 65 have a will, 54% of these wills are potentially out of date. It’s not just financial wealth that needs management – we are the custodians of our cultural heritage and there are important family traditions that need to be protected by a will.”
Mr Carrick says it’s reasonably straightforward to set up a will – and not as arduous or expensive as some may think.
“Victorians can purchase a Will Kit from State Trustees online or at their local post office or make an appointment with one of our will writers to go through more complex matters. State Trustees offers a free service where Victorians can register and store their will and power of attorney documents safely. This saves the executor the hassle of having to locate their will during what is often a difficult time.”
State Trustees Will Week Ambassador and funeral celebrant Sally Williams says a funeral is not just a place of grief but an incredible insight into an individual’s history.
“As well as funny anecdotes and fond memories, the richness of a person’s culture, beliefs and traditions comes through in the celebration at the conclusion of their life.”
“Every time I am privileged to be involved in a funeral, I also stand by as a family grieves.”
“And sometimes being handed the custodial responsibility of precious family items provides a source of comfort, pride and belonging.”
Ms Williams also said data showed 70% of 35-44-year-olds do not have a will, which is concerning given the significant life events that typically happen around this life stage.
“From buying a first home, getting married, having children, accumulating assets – there are many precious people, items and assets that should be protected by a will.”
1 The proportion of overseas-born people in Victoria who come from non-main English-speaking countries is 77.7%. This is the highest out of all Australian states and territories. 2016 Census.
2 Victoria’s Diverse Population 2016 Census
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