Whether you’re 25 years old or turning 40 this year, congratulations! You’re a Millennial, and chances are you haven’t yet taken the time to make a legally binding Will.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document which sets out how you would like your assets to be distributed when you die.
An important aspect of your will is naming an Executor. Your Executor is the person responsible for, among other things, making sure what is contained in your Will happens.
What assets can be covered by my Will?
As a young person in this economy, you might think you don’t have sufficient assets to worry about making a Will. Here are some things you might not have considered:
For a lot of young people, superannuation is the largest sum of money they hold, which may also contain a death benefit. Your superannuation can be paid to your eligible dependants – eg. spouse or child, or to your estate. If it is paid to your estate, then it is important to have a Will to state how you wish it to be distributed.
You might run your own business and own significant business assets, either as a sole trader or as the shareholder of a company. Besides things like stock and equipment, there may be significant value attached to the reputation of your business or intellectual property such as a business name or logo.
You might inherit money or property from your parents or other family members, and this could occur suddenly or unexpectedly.
If you die young, the people you leave behind could be entitled to a substantial amount of money due to a life insurance policy you may have. If it’s a policy not connected to your superannuation, this would be paid to your estate, unless you have a nominated beneficiary, and be distributed in accordance with your Will.
If you die at work there could be a substantial pay out under the workers’ compensation legislation, which would be paid to your estate and distributed in accordance with your Will.
What if I die without a Will?
If you die without a Will, the rules of intestacy will apply. These rules are contained in the Succession Act NSW 2006, which sets out who will receive your assets based on a bloodline hierarchy.
If you do not wish your assets distributed in accordance with legislation, then you should make a Will.
If, like many Australians, you are part of a blended family and have step parents, step children, half siblings, and you die without a Will, your assets may not pass to the people you wish to receive.
To make matters worse, if you die without a Will the process for your family is much more difficult, more expensive and more time consuming.
If you are ready to take the first step in ensuring a valid Will is in place for you, contact out team at Turnbull Hill Lawyers.