Taking responsibility for yourself and family can be a full time task, right?
With such busy lives on the go, often the simplest of tasks get forgotten in the rush to enjoy a good lifestyle and a happy family life.
One of the key tasks that we all need to get done, now, is making or reviewing our Last Will and Testament to ensure that if the unthinkable does happen - then your family doesn’t have to bear the pain of your loss on top of the severe financial hardship not having a Will can cause.
From where I sit I see the effects both good and bad when it comes to Wills. And it’s the good ones that I obviously like the most.
So for your entertainment I have studiously copied below a summary of what the Administration Act 1969 does to your estate when you DON’T have legal will.
If your spouse/partner is living at the time of your death, but you have no children or parents alive, your whole estate passes to your spouse/partner.
If you have children living at the time of your death but no spouse/partner, the whole estate passes to your children in equal shares.
If your spouse/partner and children are living at the time of your death your spouse/partner receives all of the chattels, $155,000 plus one-third
of the residue. Your children will receive two-thirds of the residue (split equally among them when they reach 20 years of age.
If your spouse/partner and parents are living at the time of your death, but you have no children, your spouse/partner receives all personal chattels, $155,000 and two-thirds of the residue. Your parents receive one-third of the remainder (split equally).
If you have no spouse/partner, children or parents alive, the whole estate passes to certain blood relatives.
So points one and two aren’t really an issue but points three and four can be a real hassle - especially if you are not around to sort it. Imagine you have a mortgage on the house and you have prudently covered this with a 'life insurance policy' owned by you for the value of the mortgage but you have no will and you inconveniently die before you sort one. Frankly it isn’t pretty because the end result is the mortgage isn’t automatically cleared by those funds when not directed to do so, and the family castle could be heading to the open market.
So here’s the fix. Get a will sorted and ensure your estate is handled in an orderly, planned fashion that will benefit your family and leave them secure with your greatest legacy of love and kindness.