One of the biggest estate planning myths is that only older people need Wills. While young people (over the age of 18) may not want to think about ‘what if?’ or even consider making a Will, estate planning is important for them too. Most young people may underestimate their net worth – or even their potential net worth.
Getting started sooner rather than later in planning your estate can have significant benefits, regardless of how much, or how little you have.
Why should I start planning for the future now?
- You have superannuation
Many people do not realise that when you open up a superannuation account with an industry fund, you are generally paying for a life insurance component called a death benefit. Nominating a beneficiary with your superannuation fund may not be enough to secure your wishes when it comes to distributing your superannuation benefit and any associated death benefit.
If you have superannuation, you may require a specific Binding Death Benefit Nomination to ensure your nominated beneficiary receives the benefits you intended.
- You are planning on buying a home
Before you purchase a home, it is important that you understand how you will own the home. In this regard, it is important to safeguard your wishes with a Will. For example, do you intend for your share in the property to automatically pass to the surviving co-owner? Or do you intend your share to be dealt with under your Will? There are different implications, depending on how your property is owned.
- You are married or in de facto relationship
You should not assume that you do not need a Will because everything will automatically go to your spouse or partner. If you die without leaving a Will you are said to die intestate.
In this intestate scenario, there is no Will to specify who you want as your executor and who you want as your beneficiaries. This means that your estate will be administered and distributed according to legislation. Accordingly, your assets may end up in the hands of someone you never expected them to.
- You are recently married, or a new parent:
For parents, a critical aspect of estate planning is ensuring that you have appointed a guardian for your children in the event that you pass away.
For married or de facto couples, it is important to know where you stand in terms of distribution of assets in the event of a death or even incapacity. Instead of leaving it to chance, having a Will and an Enduring Power of Attorney can ensure your intentions are carried out.
- You want to avoid potential disputes after you pass
A Will can help prevent potential disputes arising amongst your family members when you pass. Especially if you are in the process of getting a divorce or separating from a de facto partner, you may want to consider formalising who will receive your assets.
A Will can offer you peace of mind, knowing your estate will be dealt with in the best interests of your nominated beneficiaries.
- You want to make specific gifts to your loved ones
You may not have very many possessions whilst you are young, however you may possess certain items that are of sentimental value. Use a Will to specify exactly where you want your money and possessions to go – even those items of sentimental value.
Young or old, think of your estate plan as an insurance policy. Although you may be young with little assets, once it is in place, it is there for when you need it. We recommend your Will and estate plan be amended every three to five years or when any major life events occur.
If you wish to discuss creating a new Will for yourself, please do not hesitate to contact us.