Research shows that around 50% of people in NSW do not have a Will. So what are the consequences if you die without one?

When delving into the world of estate planning, it is important to consider the treatment of a disabled beneficiary under a Will.

Take a look at some common concerns that clients have.

The role of an Appointor in a Discretionary Trust Deed or Family Trust is important as they have the power to decide who the trustee is in the deed. We often come across trust deeds for clients who are not sure who the Appointor is. It’s vital that you find out who is the nominated person and ensure they are the correct person to hold this position. If there’s someone appointed in the role that you do not want in that position, they can potentially change the trustee without any authority of the current trustee and then potentially get control of that trust. It’s extremely important to review the trust deed or get advice to make sure the correct person is appointed. If we can offer any advice for your situation please get in touch.

The legislation regarding Electronic Signatures on documents has just been amended in NSW. This is fantastic news as it allows witnessing of wills, powers of attorney, enduring guardianship, deeds or agreements, affidavits and statutory declarations to be done via video link.

Superannuation is becoming one of the largest (if not the largest) asset a person holds at the time of their death. However, contrary to popular belief, your superannuation is not automatically covered by your will. Instead most super funds allow you to nominate a person or persons to be paid your super in the event of your death.

Is one of your new year resolutions to get on top of your life admin? Do you have up to date estate planning documents? Australians are generally pretty good at making sure they have adequate insurances to cover circumstances relating to health, cars and property. However according to the NSW Government a staggering 45% of Australians do not have a valid will and for many that have one, the documents are out of date and do not reflect current wishes.

A basic estate plan should have 3 essential documents including a Will, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship. As you can see from the diagram below, a Will covers your assets in the event of your death whereas the Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship cover your affairs in the event of your incapacity. All three documents are equally as important given they cover off on different scenarios. More information on each document is outlined below.

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Previously it was common practice for individuals with assets in Australia and overseas to prepare a Will in each country where they held assets. This was to ensure the requirements for a valid Will were met in each country given differences in rules between countries.

To overcome this, Australia became a party to the International Wills Convention which came into effect in Australia on 10 March 2015.

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Even though a Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign, current statistics show that almost one in two Australians do not have a valid Will. According to the NSW Government, 55% of Australians have a valid Will. Of the remaining 45%, some have no Will at all and others have a Will that is not up to date.

A Will is a legal document and it is a statement of your wishes that are to be executed when you pass away. When you write a Will, you appoint an executor who will oversee the processes of distributing your estate in line with your wishes.

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It’s in our nature to look out for our loved ones and one of the most valuable assets you will ever ‘own’ is your education.

So it’s not surprising that we receive a number of calls from people wishing to somehow pay for the future expenses of their child or grandchild’s education, in the event of their passing.

Unlike cash, cars or material ‘things’, the gift of education is one that could make a profound difference in your grandchild’s life.

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