Warwick Gilbertson: What assets won’t pass under your will?

You’ve done your will and you think that you’ve provided for your beneficiaries, but have you?

Property Ownership

How do you own your property? You’ve left property that you own to a child, but you own the property as joint tenants with another person. When you die, that property will not pass under your will, but will pass to the survivor of the two owners.

Insurance Policy

Do you have an insurance policy? Who are the nominated beneficiaries? The beneficiaries will receive the proceeds of your insurance on your death, not through your will. That’s your contract with the insurance company.

Money and/or shares

Do you hold monies in the bank or shares that are held in the joint names of somebody else?

They won’t pass under your will. They will go to the survivor on your death. If you die first, the person who is the other owner on the names of the bank accounts, on the shares, will receive them.


We all have superannuation these days. Superannuation does not pass under your will, unless you direct it into your will. It is one of those common misunderstandings. You need to have communicated with the trustee of your super fund. Each one of us receives every year, a member’s statement and it says at the end of the statement who your nominated beneficiary is, but have you made a nomination, a binding nomination? Is it a non-lapsing nomination? Are you able to make a nomination?

Your super will only go into your estate and then through your will, if you have directed it to the legal personal representative, that is your executor. It’s a legal document which you need to make sure is done correctly.


Do you have a trust? Or are you a beneficiary of a trust? You can’t leave those assets under that trust in your will. You can only leave control. There are a large number of assets or benefits that we have and receive that we want to provide into the future for our family that may not pass under your will. You need to think about and you need to have consulted a person, a solicitor who understands more about how your assets will interact with your will.

Doing a will is not just simply asking you who’s your executor? Who are your beneficiaries? Do you want to divide it equally between all your children? It is necessary to go into your assets, how you own them. At the end of the day, on your death, the will that says, your spouse or your children or some other nominated beneficiary friend, a wide spectrum of people that you wish to provide for, that that will, will actually correctly operate on your assets, on your insurance, on your super, on your property that you own, so that what you want to happen will actually occur.

Legal advice

If you don’t do that and if that’s not looked into carefully, you will end up with a will that deals with only part of your assets and not all of them. It is essential that you receive knowledgeable and specialised advice in regard to your assets, so that when you die, they will actually pass to the persons whom you wish them.

Turnbull Hill Lawyers specialises in this area of law. We can help you. Should you need advice, please contact us.

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