The Importance of Wills

The Will is an insurance policy that allows you to nominate a trusted person you know to finalise your personal affairs after your death. Without a Will (intestacy) – you don’t have a say and your assets are divided under a government formula to people you may not have included in your Will. Worse the law may exclude your preferred beneficiaries from sharing in your assets.

Off the shelf will kits

A Lawyer made Will is more expensive than doing a Will Kit but you will know that your Will is correct and complies with legislation. Will Kits may suit some people who have very simple affairs and who follow the instructions to the letter. If you don’t have simple affairs then a Will Kit is not for you. What you believe may be simple may not be simple. If you do a Will Kit and do not realise you have made a mistake then part or all of your Will may be invalid.

Things to Think About when Making a Will

When you are making a Will some things that you should consider are:

  • Timing payments of bequests or legacies before death or at a time after death to take into account tax benefits and needs of the persons intended to receive your bequest
  • Tax implications relating to Assets held
  • Use of testamentary trusts to hold assets to protect family assets;
  • If l have any pets, who will be responsible for them after your death?
  • Do you have any beneficiaries that may require special protection due a disability or an addiction?
  • Any special wishes such as funeral arrangements including organ donation.

There are many more things that one should think about – your lawyer can assist you with drafting a Will.

Role of Executor

Often people don’t understand the role of an Executor upon your death. The Executor is the person who is in control of your bodily remains. Your Executor is also responsible for organising your funeral arrangements and ensuring that your wishes within your Will are carried out accordingly.

Changes to Super Guarantee

All employers should be aware that, effective 1 July 2013, the Superannuation Guarantee (compulsory superannuation contributions paid by employers on behalf of employees) has increased from 9.00% to 9.25% of each employee’s salary. It will rise incrementally to 12% by July 2019. Further, employers are now required to contribute to complying superannuation funds of employees 70 years of age and older. Now is an opportune time for employers to review their employment agreements to ensure that they are compliant with the law following a series of changes in recent years. If you need assistance or advice regarding the Superannuation Guarantee please call us on 9607 8100.