Organising your legal and financial affairs can help protect your money and ensure it’s transferred according to your wishes.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are the key things for you to do.
List your assets and liabilities
This list should include everything you own (property, title deeds, cars, jewellery or other valuables) and what you owe (mortgages, and personal or business loans). You can also include the details of your digital assets (for example, photos and music libraries).
This gives you a good start for drawing up your Will and makes it easier for your Executor to know what you have and to manage your estate.
Appoint someone to look after your affairs if you can't
You can use an Enduring Power of Attorney to give someone the power to make personal and financial decisions for you if you’re too unwell to. You can also choose an enduring guardian to make decisions about your health, medical care or lifestyle for you.
There are different types of guardians and attorneys and their powers vary depending on which state or territory you live in. You can find out more by visiting the Public Trustee website for your state or territory.
Make or update your Will
A Will sets out who’ll inherit your money and belongings. You can also use it to name who will look after your children or pets, or outline your wishes for your funeral or organ donation.
It’s important to have a Will that gives clear direction about how you want your estate to be distributed, regardless of your wealth. If you die without one, an administrator will divide your estate according to State or Territory law, so your estate may be distributed in ways you don’t want and may incur unnecessary taxes and expenses.
How to make a Will
The best way to ensure your wishes are formally captured is to have an estate planning specialist draft a Will for you.
It’s a good idea to review your Will every few years or when you have a life change (such as getting married or separated) to ensure it still reflects your wishes.
Let us know who you want to leave your super to
Your super and any insurance you have with your super isn’t included in your Will, so it’s important to nominate your beneficiaries.
Check your life insurance
Life insurance can give your family financial security when you pass away.
You might have insurance with your super account, so check how much cover you have and whether it’ll be enough for your family to cover immediate and long-term expenses.