It is never too late to begin your estate planning. Many people do not have a will in place and dying without a will means dying intestate. Being intestate means your estate will be split based on the rules contained in the Wills and Probate and Administration Act of the state you reside in. The fundamental principle is that the estate will be passed to the next of kin, meaning that your estate (assets) may be distributed differently to the way you would have liked. Your assets include the family home, superannuation, life insurance, business, investments and your personal contents.
Not having a legal will can be very expensive and possibly result in irrevocable rifts among family members. A valid Will is also one of the building blocks of a sound financial plan.
Did you know that your superannuation and personal insurances are not covered under a Will? Within superannuation you can either make a binding, non-binding or non-lapsing binding nomination to your estate or your loved ones.
A Will needs to be reviewed and updated when your circumstances change. This includes a birth of a child and separation or divorce from your partner. Wills should be kept in a safe place.
Another aspect of Estate Planning is appointing a Power of Attorney, where you are giving authority to an individual to act on your behalf. Careful consideration should be given when deciding who you would like to nominate as your Power of Attorney as it is a powerful and responsible position.
There are three types of Powers of Attorney depending on the State or Territory law prevailing: General Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Attorney – Medical Treatment.
At Investlink Group Pty Ltd we discuss the importance of having a Will, Power of Attorney and Guardianship in place.