G’day. I’m Jill from Queensland and I’m here to help. Not many folk like doing paperwork concerning death or failing cognitive abilities through illness or accident; many leave it too late. This is also important for older LGBTI people. Some folk are even superstitious with regard to talking of death and dying, or serious illness. But it is vital for everyone over 18 years of age to complete a will, a power of attorney (either enduring or, at least a general power), and an advance health directive. Each document can be changed when your individual circumstances change; nothing is set in concrete – unless you lose capacity, i.e. your cognitive ability fails you. In fact, the documents should be regularly reviewed to ensure that the content is current and relevant to you plus that it contains your wishes.

Remember that with superannuation, most people will have something to cover in a will so that the person / people they want to get their assets and money actually get it. If there was an accident with a third party insurance claim, or there is a major health problem, then it becomes even more essential.

Explanations for the forms and the process are on the government sites on the internet. Read up on each of them. Relating to the Queensland situation you can download the Advance Health Directive, complete it with your medical practitioner and then get it witnessed. Download the Enduring (or General) Power of Attorney read it carefully, complete it or get some legal help, then have it signed and witnessed. The Public Trust Office can assist with making wills, as can your legal representative.

Having your paperwork completed is worth it to save your loved ones and/or friends the heartache of not knowing what to do should anything happen to you. If you don’t have the conversations, the completed documents will hopefully ensure your wishes are carried out. This is a picture of me on the left.TeaCosy-21