The availability of online documents and templates make writing your own Will seem easy and of course, cost effective. However, there is no substitute for legal advice from a qualified, experienced professional no matter how ‘simple’ you might think your affairs are. Over the years
We invite you to run through this checklist to review your personal legal circumstances to check if your estate affairs in order. Please contact us if we can be of any assistance.
- Do you have a Will?
- Do you know how old it is?
- Do you know where your Will is kept?
- Do your family or executors know where it is located?
- Have your (or other’s) circumstances changed since your last Will was written? e.g. Divorce, retirement, children, etc.
- Does your will give your beneficiaries the tax and asset protection benefits of a Testamentary Trust?
- Do you have children or other beneficiaries with special needs:-
- Health issues? (then a Special Disability Trust might be invaluable to disabled beneficiaries)
- Addiction issues?
- De facto or family law property issues?
Enduring Power of Attorney (‘EPA’)
- Have you nominated a person or persons to take care of your financial and personal health affairs, should you be overseas or incapacitated?
- Do you have fall back attorneys in case your nominated attorney can’t act?
- Should your EPA contain clauses to allow attorneys to have access to your Will so that your attorneys do not sell assets you have specifically gifted in your Will?
- Does your EPA allow your attorney to renew a lapsing Binding Death Benefit nomination you have made for your Super Fund?
- Do you have a Family Trust and if so, where is the Deed?
- Who is the Trustee?
- Who are the Appointors/Guardians/Principals (i.e. the ones with the power to control the trust by replacing the trustee)?
- Are these the people you want to take control of the trust if you become bankrupt, die or become incapacitated?
- Do you have more than one superannuation fund? Should multiple funds be consolidated?
- Have you checked for lost super?
- Do you know the location of any Self Managed Super Fund trust deeds?
- Who is the Trustee of your Self Managed Super Fund?
- Have you made a nomination as to who will receive your super if you die?
- Is the nomination binding on the trustee or not?
- If binding is it a lapsing or non-lapsing nomination? Is the nomination still current?
Life Insurance Policies
- Do you have any life insurance policies?
- What company are they with?
- Who is the owner of the policy?
- Who is/are the beneficiaries? Should the insurance be paid to a person directly (to quarantine this asset from an estate that might be attacked) or to your estate (for use by a beneficiary via a testamentary trust)?
- Do you know where the policy documents are?
- Do they provide cover if you are ill or have a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)?