Facts About Your Will
If you own anything, and you want a say in who gets access to it when you pass away, then it is recommended you have a Will.
It is an inexpensive way to avoid putting your loved ones through more difficulties when you pass on.
Here are 6 interesting facts about your will:
Nominating an Executor
In your will, you must nominate a person to deal with your assets after you have passed away; known as an executor.
This person must be 18 years or older.
The person you nominate to be your executor is not obliged to accept that role.
It is important to know that you are not obliged to advise the person you have nominated, however most people do so that there are no unexpected surprises.
Nevertheless, the person nominated may not wish to accept this role.
They may also not be able to accept the role for a variety of reasons – due to their health or passing away (among other reasons).
It is advisable to name a second executor, and in some cases a third, to ensure the executor is someone you trust.
Assets & Beneficiaries
If you are considering leaving specific items to a beneficiary, take the time to consider what those items are and whether you expect to still own them at the time of your passing.
If (in your Will) you leave a specific item to a beneficiary that you no longer own at the date of your passing, the beneficiary simply misses out; they are not compensated in any way.
Another option is to consider giving specific items to beneficiaries during your lifetime, which eliminates that beneficiary from missing out at some other time in the future.
Updating Your Will
You should update your Will if your circumstances change, relative to the following:
- The birth of a child;
- If a nominated executor or beneficiary passes away; and
- If family circumstances change, for example, a family member becomes estranged.
Assets that are held in joint names, such as bank accounts or houses, will automatically devolve to the surviving party and cannot be dealt with in your will.
It is important to have a good understanding of how your property is held.
If property is held as tenants in common, there is not an automatic right of survivorship (read our blog on this here).
In this instance, without a will, the surviving party will need to make an application to the court to deal with that portion of the property.
Binding Death Nominee (BDN)
Generally, without a BDN, superannuation is usually paid to the estate and then distributed pursuant to the terms of the Will.
In other words, the super is added to the assets of the estate.
Claims Against Your Estate
No Will is airtight.
You cannot stop someone from making a claim against your estate, but you can put in clauses that will assist your nominated executor(s) to defend any claim made.
For more information, contact us at Bambrick Legal today. We offer a free, no-obligation 15-min consultation for all enquiries.
You can also read more about our Wills, Estate Planning, and Probate services here.