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Start The Important Conversations With Family About Wills This Holiday Season

It might not be the first thing that springs to mind as you're standing around the barbecue or enjoying a picnic with family over summer, but having the whānau together can be a great opportunity to begin some of the 'big' conversations we all need to have.

Getting your affairs in order by sorting out your will means thinking about questions such as ‘what do I want to happen with my assets after I pass away?’ and ’what would I like to happen at my funeral?’.

While it can feel like an awkward topic to get into - talking about death and the future are important conversations and having them is an act of love for those you care about.

So, if you’re reconnecting with family this holiday period, we encourage you to start the conversation about your will, and what you would like to have happen with your assets and the things you care about.

"Having these conversations with your loved ones before they are needed benefits everyone," says Public Trust CEO Glenys Talivai.

Getting your will sorted is one of the greatest things you can leave behind giving the people that matter a clear vision of how you wish to share your legacy. It also means that you could be helping to ease any emotional and financial distress on your whānau when you die as you would have clearly laid out what you want to happen with your assets and who you would like to inherit your possessions or taonga.

"Recent Public Trust research shows us that 98 percent of Kiwi want to leave a legacy, and a will can help you leave the legacy you want," Talivai says.

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"We believe planning is critical and getting documents such as a will in place offer a level of comfort for the future as it enables people to fulfil their desire to provide both financial and emotional legacies for their whānau," Talivai says.

"A will is such an important life document. Wills help make sure the people and things that matter most to you are looked after once you’re gone. A will forms a key part of planning for the future," she says.

"If you die without a will, it can make things quite complicated and stressful for your family and friends. And we encourage conversations with whānau to help ensure that legacies are passed on as intended."

So, how do you start these types of conversations with your family? Here are some questions you could ask.

-Ease into the conversation with some less confronting questions like have you thought much about the future and do you have plans in place should anything happen to you?

-If anything were to happen to you, have you ever thought about what you’d like at your funeral?

-Who would you like to receive your most sentimental items when you die?

-What would you like to happen with your assets when you die?

Having a will in place is one of the most important things you can do to help protect what matters for those who matter most.

Create your will online or learn more at

Interviews: Public Trust has spokespeople available for media interviews in customer centres around New Zealand. For a full list of customer centre locations, please visit: Locations

Public Trust CEO Glenys Talivai is also available for interviews.

To arrange any interviews, please contact Claire on

Helpful articles:

-5 things to think about before making a will - Public Trust

-What’s stopping you from making a will? - Public Trust

-Frequently Asked Questions about Wills - Public Trust

-Choosing an executor - Public Trust

-Creating a will online at Public Trust

Educational booklet: wills-&-epas-brochure_digital.pdf (

Educational videos:

-How do I get my affairs sorted? It’s an important question to be asking. - YouTube

-So you haven’t got a will, and you’re wondering if you need one now… - YouTube

-You might have heard about an executor for a will, but what do they actually do? - YouTube

About Public Trust:

Public Trust, which marks its 150-year anniversary this year (2023), is a Crown entity employing over 400 people across our corporate offices and network of customer centres.

Our purpose is to empower all New Zealanders to build and protect their legacies. We do this through our work as New Zealand’s largest provider of estate planning and management services. We are also one of the country’s largest charitable trust administrators and advisers, helping more than 420 charities to set up trusts and distribute funds back to our communities.

Our investment team manages around $1.2bn of funds, primarily for charities, estate beneficiaries and students (through our Fee Protect service). Public Trust’s Corporate Trustee Services offer some of Australasia’s best-known institutions a full range of trustee services and we supervise a number of KiwiSaver and superannuation scheme providers.

© Scoop Media

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