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Nominating beneficiaries for your Super

We often receive questions about superannuation benefits and how they would be paid out to loved ones in the event of death.  Questions often arise because of the common misconception superannuation forms part of your estate. Superannuation is not an estate asset and will not automatically get distributed according to your Will.  Super has its…

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Introducing the My Estate Planning Profile

Typically, estate planning is a relatively straightforward process. For most individuals having a Will, Power of Attorney, and Superannuation Beneficiary Nomination is quite enough. While it’s a great first step to have all of these measures in place, it only tells half the story when it comes time for your Executor to administer your estate. …

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Estate Planning Checklist

There are a wide variety of events that should prompt you to review your estate plans, for example:

  • the ageing of an executor appointed in your Will
  • the arrival of children or grandchildren
  • the breakdown of a child’s marriage
  • the threat of some commercial misfortune to a child
  • the graduation of a child into a professional career
  • a resolve to assist a needy charity

You should think just as carefully about the possible onset of incapacity. Whilst your will deals with matters upon your death, it has no bearing on the onset of incapacity if that occurs.

These are some fundamentals to consider when reviewing your estate or incapacity plan:

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Logging off for the last time

Quite often we will send an email to the personal email account of our clients only to receive a bounce-back saying that the email is no longer available or in some cases, no response at all. Nowadays most entities you deal with will have an online presence. As a result we as consumers are frequently prompted to create an online account or register our email with these online organisations.

For many of these accounts, we forget they even exist and they fall into the abyss with nothing more to be heard of them. However it is becoming increasingly more important to take note of these online accounts due to the confidential and important information held in these accounts. This sensitive information needs to be dealt with appropriately should we no longer require them.

More importantly, have you ever considered who’s going to close your personal online accounts after you leave this world? Do you want your Facebook profile to continue or be closed? Are there accounts online that only you know about?

The personal information you have disclosed and stored online to the myriad organisations can vary from your name and email right down to your bank details, home address and personal details. It can even include direct debit subscriptions you may have with a magazine or charity.

As a result the security and eventually the termination of online accounts is becoming a crucial issue we need to address when planning our estate. Although protection is important and we are told not to write down or share our passwords, by securely storing the credentials of all of your online accounts and subscriptions and informing your estate planner, you enable your estate to be finalised more efficiently and easily.

In addition it is always prudent to include provisions in your Will for the treatment of your personal digital files including photos, documents – or maybe your future ‘best seller’ which is in draft mode.

If this has made you realise that you need to update your Will, make an appointment with your estate planner soon. If you don’t have one, ask us for a referral.

Happy browsing fellow surfers!

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Don’t risk a DIY Will!

The do-it-yourself trend and the internet have made writing your own will seem like an easy way to get your affairs in order. But it’s not as simple as it seems and there’s no substitute for proper advice from a qualified lawyer, no matter how straightforward you think your affairs are.

What appears to be a cost-effective solution can be financially and emotionally draining for those you leave behind should a home-made will go wrong, and there are plenty of examples of that happening. The legal dispute over the assets of car-racing identity Peter Brock springs to mind.

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Are Your Estate Plans Current?

Along with making a financial plan to assist in meeting your financial goals and objectives, it is also important that your Estate Planning provisions are kept up to date.

Areas of importance include:

* Wills
* Testamentary Trusts
* Powers of Attorney

Are these areas up to date? It is important to learn more about these issues and review them regularly.

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