A Wellington lawyer is urging Pacific families to draw up a will, to avoid family disputes when someone dies.
Viv D'or Law Senior Solicitor Emily Hartson-Maea, is holding a series of seminars in Wellington this month, to better inform people about wills, trusts and the power of attorneys.
She's come across many cases of family disagreements during a time of loss, due to not knowing the will and wishes of the deceased person.
"You're in a time of grieving and then you have to deal with this as well so this is an opportunity for families to know exactly what mum and dad had wanted," she says. "It's about communication now instead of leaving the family to squabble.
"Get the job done so that when the time comes, our children and our families know exactly what we want," she says. "Have that conversation now with your families and then put it down in writing."
Pacific people in Wellington getting legal advice on wills, trusts and the power of attorneys. Photo/ Supplied.
Hartson-Maea says having no will can also leave children in limbo, when parents or guardians die.
"If you don't have in your will comments about who will take care of your children then your wishes cannot be followed because who knew exactly what you wanted to happen."
Hartson-Maea says they'll be discussing what a will is, why it's important to have one, powers of attorneys and how they'll help you and family trusts.
The seminars will be held throughout the month in Lower Hutt and Porirua as part of Pasefika Futures Planning Seminars.
Volunteers who will attend the seminars will provide translation into Samoan, Cook Island and Tokelau.
Hartson-Maea says plans are also in place to develop Pacific-focused legal education seminars with the team from Folau Alofa Charitable Trust in Petone.