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Wills

Assets

It is a big mistake to assume that all assets that you own will form part of your estate and can be left to your beneficiaries under your Will.

Assets which commonly do not form part of the Estate include, but not limited to;

  • Assets that are co-owned as Joint Tenants;
  • Life insurance with a Nominated Death Beneficiary who is not your Legal Personal Representative (Executor);
  • Superannuation fund with a Nominated Death Beneficiary who is not your Legal Personal Representative (Executor);
  • Assets owned by companies (whether you are the shareholder and/or director or not);
  • Assets held in Trust, such as a Discretionary Family Trust.

It is important to discuss with your solicitor the ownership of your assets.  It is a common mistake by people who wish to have their Will made to leave assets under the Will which legally they do not own.  Consequently those assets will not form part of the estate and this can result in disappointed beneficiaries who will not be able to retrieve those assets.

Drafting your Will is usually only one part of planning your estate and what is to happen to your assets once you pass away.  The Will in itself may not be sufficient to ensure that the assets you have gained over your lifetime will go to the beneficiaries of your choice.

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