Two of the most common excuses we hear for why people don’t have a Will are: “I’m too young!” and “I don’t have anything to leave anyway.”
Without wanting to be too grim…the reality is that an unfortunate number of people die quite young. We might feel healthy, strong and just about invincible but tragic circumstances sometimes occur regardless.
But what about the other excuse? Haven’t made a will because you don’t think you own anything to leave?
If you are in your 20’s or 30’s it is likely you have been working for anywhere between 5 and 20 years. During that time your superannuation has been accumulating. If you look at it this way your superannuation by now is likely to equate to at least a decent holiday to Europe, a brand new car or a nice house deposit.
If you are with a retail or industry superannuation fund it is also likely that you will have a substantial life insurance policy attached to your superannuation. Or you might have chosen to take life insurance this way. It is a cost effective way to get life insurance coverage and the payout forms part of your super fund if you die.
So your super and related insurance means you may have a lot more than just a second hand car and some personal property to pass on to your family.
With that in mind it is worth considering what will happen to your superannuation if you die.
So where will your superannuation and life insurance go?
On your death the legislation which governs superannuation allows the trustee (the person who runs the fund) of your superannuation fund some leeway in how they distribute the superannuation which you have accumulated, otherwise known as a death benefit.
Since the trustee is most likely someone that does not know you or your family you don’t want to leave this decision up to them.
Most superannuation funds allow you to make a binding death benefit nomination which directs the trustee how to pay your death benefit. This is more than simply nominating a next of kin on your super forms and may require advice from an estate planning lawyer to complete.
An estate planning lawyer can also prepare your Will so that it takes account of any potential death benefit amount and makes sure it ends up with the right people.
So not just for old people with property!
So if you have superannuation and a life insurance policy within your superannuation you already have the makings of a small fortune. Or at least a sum of money that could make a big difference to your parents or in giving a sibling a great head start.
It is well worth making a will to ensure that your hard earned superannuation goes where you wish it to go and the best way to do this is by making a will and ensuring your binding death benefit nomination is regularly reviewed and updated.
Please contact Fox and Thomas to make an appointment with one of our estate planning lawyers to discuss your situation.