Ensuring your voice is heard
When you’re here to supervise your worldly affairs, your voice, which reflects your current views, is heard, and more often than not, heeded. But when you’re not here, what voice will be heard? Will it be your most recent voice; an old voice from several years ago; or the voice of government legislation? Unfortunately, all too often, it is voice number two, or worse, three.
If your Will and other estate arrangements have not recently been reviewed, you risk your voice not being heard. If you have overlooked making a Will, the government decides how your estate is to be distributed. This reinforces the importance of keeping all of your estate arrangements current.
That said, even with the best of intentions the most up-to-date Will in the world can be challenged. There have been countless real-life court dramas involving high profile public figures engaging in claims and counter-claims following the death of a wealthy relative. Some of us have experienced similar emotional intensity, anguish, and even bitterness. We must always remember that people change, form new relationships, and take advice from different sources whose motives may not always be pure.
In ensuring your voice from the other side will be heard and heeded, the Will remains the centrepiece of estate planning, but with life insurance and binding nominations for superannuation, there are additional tools you may not have thought of.
The insurance option
A policy taken out by a person on their own life and owned by that person forms part of their estate to be distributed in accordance with their Will, and thus subject to challenge. But, and here is the feature which can make insurance such an important part of sound estate planning. A policy which nominates someone other than the life insured as the beneficiary does not form part of the estate and is quite separate from the Will – and not subject to challenge.
What this means is that if there is even the smallest possibility that your wishes may not be carried out after you’re gone, it might be a good idea to seek professional advice about the value of a life insurance policy.
The super solution
It is widely believed that superannuation is included in an estate and dealt with through a Will. Not so. The trustee of your superannuation fund determines how your super is paid upon your death. You may identify a “preferred beneficiary” however the fund trustee can override this decision at its discretion. If you don’t want this to occur, you should complete a ‘Binding Death Benefit Nomination’.
Binding Death Benefit Nominations
Superannuation legislation allows you to specifically nominate, with certainty, who will receive your super following your death.
These nominations must be in writing and clearly state the names of beneficiaries and any split details between multi-beneficiaries. Some funds offer non-lapsing binding nominations however, many binding nominations must be renewed every three years and are only valid if you nominate a dependant, eg. your current spouse (including de facto), or your child of any age, or a person financially dependent upon you at the time of death. You may also nominate your estate.
Binding nominations are still relevant if you have a self-managed super fund. Even though you have the final decision on how your super is managed whilst you are alive, it is crucial to ensure your trustee/s (who may also be family) continues to fulfil your wishes after you die.
To ensure it’s your own voice that takes final control of what you have worked hard for in this lifetime, consult an estate planning specialist or talk to your financial adviser.
Book Your Financial
Receive customised recommendations to improve both your personal and business related financial health.
Latest Blog Articles
he Perth company with the quirky name; 3 Monkeys Audiovisual, has grown from a fledgling business run from the owner’s attic to a multi-million dollar enterprise about to move into its own uber-modern showroom in Bayswater.
Owner Francis Fragomeni says Insight Advisory Group has been right alongside it every step of the way, providing an impressive range of services from business advice to bookeeping and payroll.
He explains the relationship started in the year 2000 when Insight principal Domenic Manno introduced him to a business opportunity; the chance to become a partner in an audio hire company. That business grew, even developing a sales division before Francis sold his share and moved into wholesaling.
There is a saying, that relationships in life, and business, support and connect people, and allow them to grow all aspects of their lives, and that has never been more so, than with the former owners of the highly successful WA company Pumpnseal Australia.
When is the best time to refinance your home loan? As a home owner with a mortgage, chances are you’ve heard of the term 'refinancing'. Refinancing involves reviewing your current mortgage, and potentially swapping your loan to another lender who can better meet your...
Who thought house prices were going to fall due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic? Our hand is up! Unfortunately for us, and for those wanting to enter the housing market for the first time, we were wrong. This article discusses the continued increase...
Since November 2020, borrowers have been indulging in record low interest rates, but what happens when rates start to rise, and mortgage repayments become unmanageable? This article discusses interest rates of the past and uses a case study to show the importance of...
Information in this article is based on current regulatory requirements and laws, which may be subject to change. While care has been taken in the preparation of this document, no liability is accepted by Count, its related entities, agents and employees for any loss arising from reliance on this document.
This document contains general advice. It does not take account of your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider talking to a financial adviser before making a financial decision.