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    Myths about Estate Planning

    9/04/18 11:55 AM

    There are some common thoughts and ideas that come up frequently in Estate Planning that can be detrimental for future planning. Here are some myths about Estate Planning and reasons why they are not true.

    1. My family know what I want. They will be able to take care of things when I pass away so I don’t need a Will.

    It is not just about knowing what you want. It is about having the power to control what happens to your Estate. If you do not leave a Will appointing an executor and nominating beneficiaries, then your family would have to follow strict statutory provisions when dealing with your Estate. These provisions do not take into account your personal wishes.  

    1. I can prepare my own Will from the Newsagent.

    Yes, you can, but if your Will is not prepared and executed correctly it can create significant problems and costs for your family in the future. You also do not have the benefit of receiving advice about the best type of Will for you, the risk of claims being made against your Estate, and basic requirements for a valid Will.

    1. If I have a Will, then that deals with all of my assets.

    Your Will does not necessarily deal with all your assets. For example, trusts and superannuation policies are actually governed by the deeds and policies which created them – not your Will. Additional measures such as Death Benefit Nominations and Trust Deed reviews may be required to ensure that all of your assets are passed according to your wishes.

    1. I don’t have any assets, so I do not need a Will.

    If you have any superannuation entitlements – no matter how much – then you most likely have life insurance. This is a sizeable asset. Even if you do not have superannuation, your assets are likely to increase over time. By preparing a Will now you are protecting yourself in the event that you forget to make a Will in the future. Unexpected things happen in life and it is good to be prepared.  

    1. When I die, everything will automatically go to my partner.

    This is not entirely true. If you die without a Will you are deemed to have died ‘intestate’ and under law this means your assets will be distributed according to a statutory formula. Your spouse and children are at the top of the formula, but it can become complicated if you have children from previous relationships, if you are separated but not divorced, etc.  

    If you have further questions please contact us at frank@franklaw.com.au

    This is not legal advice. 

    Naomi Webb

    Written by Naomi Webb