Where there’s a Will, there’s a way

  • Kathy Belling, Acting Regional Manager at Queensland Public Trustee Mt Isa, celebrating 45-year anniversary of the Mount Isa office this year. (January 2024)

Kathy Belling, Acting Regional Manager at Queensland Public Trustee Mt Isa, celebrating 45-year anniversary of the Mount Isa office this year. (January 2024)

Making a Will for the first time tends to be something that many people put on the back burner, so it comes as no surprise that only one in two Queenslanders have a formal Will in place. Further, with time, those with a Will can just 'set-and-forget’, with three in ten people never updating their original documentation (Kantar Public Research, 2023).

Although these are significant statistics, delving deeper into the research highlights a surprising difference between the actions taken across demographic groups. Most notably, regional Queenslanders appear to be much more prepared than their metro counterparts when it comes to advance life planning.

Over the past three years, Queensland Public Trustee (QPT) has been working with Kantar Public Research to unpack the attitudes and behaviours among Queenslanders surrounding the importance of making an enduring power of attorney (EPA), an advance health directive, and a Will. One of the main objectives of this research was to uncover any key differences in the statistics between regional and metro areas. 

What has come to light is extremely interesting:

  • 56% of those in regional areas have a formal Will in place, in comparison to only 49% in metro areas.
  • Of those that don’t have a Will, 73% of regional Queenslanders are intending to do so readily, in comparison to 69% of urban participants (Kantar Public Research 2023).

Another theme analysed in the research was the comfort level experienced by participants in discussing advance life planning with their loved ones. In general, comfort discussing the future has not shifted radically across the total population of the survey since 2021. However, those in regional areas are noted as significantly more comfortable than those in metro areas.

Kirrily Turner, Regional Manager Cairns, has worked for QPT in regional Queensland for many years and notes the importance of regional face-to-face services and the value of local knowledge.

“Having a presence in communities across the state is so important for understanding local context.  Queensland is large and diverse, with different people living in very different situations. 

Being available to discuss future planning is important, especially when there’s a general reticence to approaching the subject of death or loss of capacity,” says Kirrily.

“A key benefit of smaller communities is that when one person makes positive steps in their future planning, then others tend to follow and there’s a local knock-on effect.”

“Supporting and representing our human services agency in regional Queensland makes me really proud, we’re part of the local fabric, we stay connected, we feel supported, and we keep each other informed,” she says.

Positive health outcomes for rural communities are a key focus for QPT. Having a local presence and developing strong connections is at the heart of the work carried out across the extensive regional office network, from Southport to Cairns, and evidently, it’s making an impact!

For more information about Will-making in Queensland, you can visit our website About Wills - The Public Trustee of Queensland (pt.qld.gov.au), or if you have any questions you can contact us on 1300 360 044.

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