3 reasons to have your Will done in 2020
by Jacqui Brauman
The year 2020 could be called the year of vision. But as the start of a new decade, we should also be conscious that we should start it on the right foot. And being on the right foot includes having your affairs in order.
If you haven’t done a Will before
If you haven’t done a Will before, what are you waiting for? Everyone needs a Will, whether you think your don’t own much or not. Although I don’t endorse it often, even a Will-kit is enough for those with simple situations.
For those you think they don’t need a Will, it is rarely actually the case.
For young people, you will have superannuation. If you don’t have a spouse or children, then you need a Will to be able to direct your superannuation to the people you want it to go. Superannuation is a special kind of asset that can only be paid to certain types of people. And if you’re young, your superannuation is your biggest asset, because it will have a life insurance component of usually $200,000! Don’t risk it and allow that super to just be paid to anyone.
For people who’s family is fairly straight forward, that main reason you should have a Will is to appoint the people as executors that you want to actually run your estate. Sometimes the best families fall apart due to emotions that arise of the control or lack of control over an estate.
If your circumstances have changed
Some people can go through life and have a Will that is broad enough to last them 40 years. But others have circumstances that change more regularly, such as forming and ending relationships, and having children. Or their children are having children, or remarrying with step-children.
You should re-do your Will if:
- you start a new relationship
- you get married
- you separate
- you have children
- you have step-children or step-grandchildren
- your executor dies
- a child dies, or
- you create other entities for investments
If you are building your wealth
If you are seeing a financial planner, if you’re building a business, or if you have any involvement with a family trust for investment purposes, then you should have your Will reviewed.
Financial planners strongly encourage you to have your estate planning up to date, and finding a solicitor that will work with your financial planner to make sure your estate plan aligns with your financial plan is key. But actually take your financial planner’s advice on this – you’re spending a fair bit of money on your financial planner to have them grow your wealth, but if you don’t protect it in the case of an emergency or death then it could all be for naught.
Also, if you have any other entities in your life, like companies or trusts, then your Will needs to make sure those entities are accounted for. Don’t assume that your executor will have the power to deal with them, and that the control of those entities will end up in the correct place.
And those with self-managed superannuation (SMSF), it is also crucial that you get estate planning advice about that self-managed super, because it is different to normal regulated super funds, and could be tied up for years after you die if it’s not attended to correctly in the first place.