Assets included in your Will are called estate assets. These are assets that you own, in your personal name, at the time of your death. Estate assets are dealt with in your Will, but people often include items that are not allowed to be included. So what assets are not covered by your Will?
Superannuation is not an estate asset and Will therefore not automatically pass per your Will. What happens with your superannuation will be determined by either: a binding death benefit nomination, the discretion of the fund’s trustee, or the rules of your superannuation fund.
Assets you own jointly with someone else
Any assets that are owned jointly with another person are automatically transferred to the surviving partner. This happens in accordance with survivorship laws. These assets often include bank accounts, property, shares and term deposits. However, if the other joint tenant has predeceased you, the asset Will at this point form part of your estate and therefore pass per your Will, so it is a good idea to include it.
Assets in a family trust or other trust
Family trust assets belong to the trust and will be dealt with in accordance with the trust deed.
Assets owned by a company
Assets from a company Will remain owned by the company. However, any shares you have in the company are part of your estate assets and can be left with whomever you wish in your Will.
Life insurance policies
When you set up your life insurance policy, you can nominate a beneficiary. The proceeds Will generally be paid directly to this beneficiary, without the need to be included in your Will. If you want your life insurance policy included in your Will, you need to nominate your estate as the beneficiary.
If you wish to review your assets or establish an estate plan, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.