WIDOWER Alan Thomas wants to issue some advice that he regrets not taking himself - the importance of having a will.
The thought of taking out a will with late wife, Jodi, had not crossed the mind of the 46-year-old prior to her sudden death on September 6 last year.
The past four-and-a-half months since Jodi's death has been a torrid one for Alan, with constant hoop-jumping between banks, solicitors and family members taking both a physical and mental toll on him.
After an increase in workload and almost $4000 of costs incurred, Alan is starting to see some light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
They say hindsight is a wonderful thing and if Alan had his time over he would've gone about things quite differently.
"A will was a thing Jodi or I wouldn't have had to worry about once it was done because then there's guidelines and things happen so much quicker," Alan said. "People know, the bank know where the money is going to be coming from, they know who's going to be paying, who's going to be in control of it and it just saves you a lot of time and worry.
"If you've got direction there or someone who's helping you out like getting a lawyer firm involved, it just saves so much time because people can pull that information up - it's there and not a matter of waiting and getting a process happening.
"It would have made things so much easier."
Jodi died on the night of September 6 due to haemorrhagic pneumonitis, where a clot formed in her lungs. She was only 44.
Alan and Jodi had conversations regarding getting a will sorted during their marriage, with a conversation taking place only weeks before her death.
"About two-and-a-half to three weeks before I started getting all my super's together because I spend a lot of time on the road and do all sorts of jobs for Rabco (Plant Hire)," he said.
"With all the hours I'm doing on the road I was a bit worried about it in case something happened to me because you just don't know.
"It's a thing I've always thought of, and it was something we were getting closer to doing, just to get it done because I didn't want family members that aren't involved or don't care chasing the money."
Still trying to come to terms with Jodi's passing, Alan has 18-year-old stepson Cooper to look out for, but he's not alone with support.
Jodi's former workplace, Coles at Kin Kora have been very supportive, as has the Goondoon St branch of the Commonwealth Bank and Valleys Rugby League Club.
Meanwhile, the Public Trustee of Queensland is urging young people to take out a will once they turn 18.
As January almost draws to a close, the statutory authority is stressing the importance of getting your affairs in order.
Public Trustee of Queensland spokesperson Peter Carne said almost 80 per cent of young people in their twenties didn't have a will.
"Reasons for them not making a will are that they think they don't own enough to warrant making one or they think they are too young to worry about it," he said.
"Once you turn 18, it's vital you make a will, if you have been working you will have assets such as super and you need to leave clear instructions.
"By planning ahead you can spare your loved ones untold stress at a time of grief and loss. It's important all adult Queenslanders take the time to make a will.
"Turning 18, going overseas, marriage or entering a de-facto relationship, buying a property and having a child are all good times to ensure your will is up to date."
Mr Carne said that too often people felt uncomfortable about planning for the future, yet it's something we all need to do.
"Whether your will is made free of charge at the Public Trustee or with a solicitor, having a properly prepared and up-to-date will can save your family from conflict," he said.
"As more and more people form blended families, it is even more vital for people's loved ones that they make a clear will and also prepare an Enduring Power of Attorney."
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