One of the biggest estate planning myths is that only older or chronically ill people need Wills . This is simply untrue.
While healthy and young people don’t want to think about ‘what if?’, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that estate planning is important for them too.
Reasons Younger and Healthy People May Need Estate Planning
- You own a house or have other significant assets – you will want to decide who your assets go to, and safeguard these wishes with a Will.
- You are married, in a long-term or defacto relationship – you shouldn’t assume that you don’t need a Will because everything will automatically go to your spouse or partner. If you die without leaving a Will you are said to die intestate, so there is no formal evidence of who you wanted as your beneficiaries and who you wanted as your Executor. Your estate will then be distributed according to a pre-determined formula meaning your assets may end up in the ‘wrong hands’ or with someone you never expected.
- You are getting a divorce or separating from a long-term or defacto partner – you will want to formalise who will receive your assets if you don’t want your ex-partner to have a claim on your estate.
- You have children – have you considered naming a guardian for your children? You will want to use a Will to give formal direction for who will care for them.
- You have superannuation or life insurance – nominating a beneficiary with your super fund provider may not be enough to secure your wishes when it comes to distributing your superannuation benefit and any associated life insurance.
If you have superannuation, particularly if it includes a life insurance component, you may require a specific Binding Death Benefit Nomination to ensure your nominated beneficiary receives the benefits you intended.
You have a business – you will want to formalise any succession planning for the business and ensure a smooth transition of ownership or sale.
- You want someone you can trust to make health and financial decisions on your behalf – if you’re travelling overseas, or interstate regularly or for a long period of time, undergoing a serious medical operation or likely to be incapacitated, out of action or out of contact for a significant period of time, you will want to appoint a general and enduring power of attorney.
- You want to avoid potential disputes – give yourself peace of mind by making a Will. This can help spare your family and friends needless heartache and potential disputes.
- You want to make specific bequests – use a Will to specify exactly where you want your money and possessions to go even those items with sentimental value.
Every Will and situation is unique and we have the expertise to help navigate any complexities that exist or could arise.