For all four stages of life if it critical to ensure that you have a Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive in place as a bare minimum.
- Between 18 and 30 years – When you are this age usually you do not have many assets, other than some superannuation and perhaps life insurance within or outside that super account.
It is important to ensure that you have a valid death benefit nomination in place in your super. For example, parents are generally not classed as dependents under the Superannuation (SIS) Act. If you nominate your parents as your super death benefit beneficiary (ies) this may be invalid in the event of your death, unless financial dependency can be proven. This then provides the trustee of the fund an opportunity to exercise their discretion. This may mean that the proceeds of super death benefits may end up being paid outside of your wishes.
- Between 30 and 50 – At this stage in life you usually have been working for many years and have built up some financial assets. You probably have debt and mortgages in place. You are likely to be in a long-term relationship or married with a young family. At this stage it is therefore really important to protect these assets and the family.
You should ensure your Will, EPOA and Advance Heath Directives have been updated to reflect your growing family. Consider testamentary trusts and guardianship for minors, and ensure your super death benefit nomination has also been updated.
For self-employed people running their own businesses, it is important to have a business succession plan in place for these unforeseen circumstances and to ensure the continuity of the business when they are not around or unable make important decisions.
- Between 50 and 70 – At this stage in life you are usually are still working but planning for your retirement. You may have paid off your debts, grown your wealth, your children are likely to be grown up and living their own lives. Depending on your financial circumstances you might be considering providing financial assistance to your children for education purposes, to buy a property or set up a business. It is critical that these special financial arrangements are documented properly and legal advice sought. Of course, ensuring your Will, EPOA and Advance Directives are up to date is also important. Business succession planning is critical for self-employed people this age group.
- Over 70 – People in this age group are often retired or planning to retire in the near future. At this age it is important to carefully review your Will and address potential issues such the addition of new grandchildren, uneven distributions, special gifts, blended family members, or possibly, family members that are likely to inherit part of your estate but are currently bankrupt or have dependency issues.
The information contained in this article is general information only. It is not intended to be a recommendation, offer, advice or invitation to purchase, sell or otherwise deal in securities or other investments. Before making any decision in respect to a financial product, you should seek advice from an appropriately qualified professional.
We believe that the information contained in this document is accurate. However, we are not specifically licensed to provide tax or legal advice and any information that may relate to you should be confirmed with your tax or legal adviser.