360Private

Is a Will a must have or just something your advisors keep telling you that you need? There are a few key points that you should understand around why you may need a Will.

When you pass away you will either have a Will, or not have a Will. If you have a Will then your Estate (a combination of your personal items, bank accounts, property, investments, superannuation etc.) will be administered according to the terms of your Will and pass to the people you have nominated as beneficiaries. If you pass away without a Will it is said that you have died ‘intestate’ and your Estate will instead pass in accordance with the laws of intestacy.

Laws of Intestacy

Each Australian jurisdiction has legislation that prescribes how a person’s Estate must be distributed if they pass away intestate. This legislation varies significantly between jurisdictions.

In South Australia the laws of intestacy state that:

  1. If you have a spouse (this includes wedded spouses as well as domestic partners) and no children then your Estate will pass to your spouse. Sometimes it can be quite complicated for the surviving partner to prove the existence of the domestic relationship, especially in the case of blended families. Ex-spouses are also entitled to benefit in some circumstances, in which case your Estate may be split between spouses!
  2. If you have a spouse and children, then your spouse will receive your personal items and the first one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00). The remaining assets will split half to your spouse and half to your children. This can cause a lot of anguish and even financial hardship for your spouse if, for example, they receive only half of your house. The other half of the house will be held by the Public Trustee on behalf of any minor children until they reach the age of eighteen. This means that your spouse may be unable to sell the property without the consent of the Public Trustee.
  3. If you do not have a spouse or children then your parents will receive the full benefit of your Estate. If you do not have any parents living then your siblings and then nieces and nephews will benefit.

A Valid Will

The benefits of having a valid Will are:

  1. You are able to ensure that the people you wish to benefit from your Estate do benefit. You are able to gift specific items or cash amounts to different people.
  2. You are able to choose who you would like to make arrangements for you after you have passed away and to administer your Estate (called your Executor).
  3. You are able to ensure that your beneficiaries receive their inheritance at an age you think they will be capable of handling the inheritance. You may wish to prevent them receiving large sums or money when they turn eighteen years old and instead hold money on trust until they are older.
  4. You may direct that your assets are to be held in a Testamentary Trust for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries and their lineal descendants. Testamentary Trust is a structure whereby assets are managed by a Trustee who has the discretion to distribute capital and income between a group of beneficiaries nominated in your Will. Testamentary Trusts are tax effective and give additional protection to your inheritance from your beneficiaries’ spouses, bankruptcy and/or spendthrift habits!
  5. Your Estate will likely incur fewer costs and will be administered more quickly.

 

People often say they do not need a Will because they do not have any assets. Even if this is the case now, a lot can change by the time you pass away. Assets such as life insurance and superannuation benefits may form part of your Estate and can be more significant that you think.

If you have a spouse and/or children then passing away without a Will leaves them in a tough spot. They will likely incur significant legal costs, not to mention emotional hardship, in proving their relationship and/or paternity to the court. This also often causes disputes with your parents and/or siblings.

If you do not want the intestacy laws to apply to you, do not want additional costs to your Estate and wish to provide guidance and support to your next of kin then a Will is a must have!

Article provided by the Estate Team at 360Private, whom are happy to discuss your queries or concerns around your Estate Planning requirements. They are contactable on 8291 2111

Recent posts

  • Covid-19 Business Support Grant

    Written by 360Private

    Published: 29 July 2021

    A new Covid-19 Business Support Grant has been announced by the South Australian State Government to assist small and medium businesses that suffer a significant loss of income as a result of the Covid-19 health restrictions. Eligible employing businesses can apply for a $3,000 cash grant, whilst a $1,000 cash grant is on offer to eligible non-employing businesses. To be eligible for the one-off $3,000 grant, a business must, as at 12:01am Tuesday 20 July 2021: Be located within South Australia; Have an annual turnover of $75,000 or more in 2020-21 or 2019-20 financial years, and be registered for GST; Employ people in South Australia; Have an Australia-wide payroll of less than $10 million in the 2019-20 financial year; Have a valid and active Australian Business Number (ABN); and Have experienced at least a 30 per cent reduction in turnover in the week of Tuesday 20 July 2021 to Monday 26 July 2021 (inclusive) compared to the week prior, due to the restricted trading conditions.
  • Employee Superannuation Changes

    Written by 360Private

    Published: 27 May 2021

    Employers should be aware of some key changes to superannuation laws that will impact the calculation of employee superannuation entitlements. Superannuation Guarantee Rate Increase to 10% Employers in Australia are required by law to make regular contributions to their employee’s superannuation fund. The legislated Superannuation Guarantee (SG) rate is currently set at 9.5% of ordinary time earnings. The first increase to the SG rate will occur on 1 July 2021 and will see the contribution rate that employers are required to pay increase from 9.5% to 10%. This will then be followed by incremental half percentage point (0.5%) increases each year until the rate reaches 12 per cent on 1 July 2025.
  • Changes to the Fair Work Act

    Written by 360Private

    Published: 29 April 2021

    The Fair Work Act 2009 has recently been amended to change workplace rights and obligations for casual employees. The changes were made by the Fair Work Amendment Act 2021 and came into effect on 27th March 2021. These amendments update the definition of casual employment and provide guidelines for moving casual employees to permanent employment. In addition, the amendments introduce requirements for all Employers to provide a Casual Employment Information Statement. Employers are required to give every new casual employee a Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS) before, or as soon as possible after, they start their new job.
  • Retirement Village Masterclass

    Written by 360Private

    Published: 01 April 2021

    Retirement Village Masterclass Last week, Mark Lumley of 360Private Legal, gave a series of presentations at a Retirement Village Masterclass being held at Aveo Retirement Villages. These presentations on Retirement Village Contracts gave an overview on all Estate Planning considerations, as well as advice around legal obligations which should be considered prior to signing any such retirement village contracts. 360Private Legal can provide in depth analysis of your current circumstances and review any succession issues that need to be addressed. 360Private Legal can also provide you with recommendations including referrals to associated professionals who will assist you in the delivery of considered and comprehensive estate planning documentation and business succession planning.
  • Expensing of Depreciable Assets

    Written by 360Private

    Published: 12 March 2021

    The 2020 – 2021 Federal Budget announced significant temporary changes to the tax rules surrounding depreciating assets. These new, full expensing rules apply to businesses with a turnover of up to $5 billion. An immediate 100% deduction can be taken for eligible depreciating assets incurred from 6 October 2020 until 30 June 2022. Which assets are eligible? A depreciating asset qualifies for full expensing if after 6 October 2020, and on or before 30 June 2022 the entity: Starts to hold the asset; and Starts to use the asset, or has it installed ready for use for a taxable purpose. An asset is not eligible for full expensing if:

Financial health check

Whether it be a query about superannuation, investments, insurance, mortgage or any other financial based questions, get 360Private to check on your financial health.

Client testimonials

Very high quality professional advice

The team from 360Private have been our taxation and superannuation advisors for the past 15 years. Throughout that time we have received very high quality professional advice to assist us progress to long term goals of financial independence.

Read more ...

 

.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.