Tag Archives: Estate Planning

Five costly estate planning mistakes

Drawing up your will and estate plan is an important part of life, no matter what your age. Make sure you avoid these five costly estate planning mistakes!

Delaying your estate planning

One of the most significant mistakes people make when it comes to estate planning is putting it off. It is never too early to start planning and arranging your will. This will ensure that your assets go to the right people with minimum fuss for your loved ones. Also, if you put it off too long, you may lose the capacity to communicate your wishes.

Not communicating your plan

The key to a successful and stress-free estate planning is communication. Disputes often arise because people preparing their will do not communicate with their family and loved ones. By communicating clearly, you can let them know the reasons behind your decisions – why you nominate a person as executor or why you gift assets to a specific person?

Not updating as your situation changes

It can be costly if you do not update your estate plan regularly. Your situation changes all the time – you have kids, sell assets, get separated, the list goes on. It is essential to keep your will updated through these changes. For example – if you are going through a divorce and pass away without updating your estate plan, then they will still get any assets you have outlined, even if you no longer wish for them too.

Lack of understanding of assets

People often assume that theirs will covers all of their assets. However, many assets aren’t controlled by your will: superannuation, life insurance payments, jointly owned assets, assets in trusts, or funds in joint accounts. Failing to consider these other assets might mean that they don’t end up where you wish them to.

Not communicating document location

The original copy of your will is important – a missing will can result in delays and extra costs, and if never found, could leave you with no control over who receives your estate. People move house or change solicitors over time, and unfortunately, wills get lost. Make sure you inform your executor or family where the original copy is to avoid extra stress when you pass away.

Estate planning is about preparing ahead for the future of your loved ones. Remember to take the time to get your estate sorted and avoid making these costly mistakes. Reach out to our team for peace of mind that your final wishes are fulfilled.

What Assets Are Not Covered by My Will?

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

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.