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Estate Planning Step 2 - What is included?

Some people are surprised to find out that many of there assets are not included in the Will. That is why we focus on Estate Planning - it covers all of your assets.

Let's work through the different assets.

Property - your home. Do you own your home in your own name or jointly with your spouse or significant other? If Jointly, then this asset will go to the surviving owners on your passing and will not go through your will. But your will needs to address it just in case the other owner(s) pass away before you and you are the remaining owner. Then the property will be covered by your Will.

If you own your home or investment property as Tenants in Common, then your portion of the property will be dealt with via your Will.

Superannuation is often the next biggest asset but it is not covered by your Will unless you direct your super trustee to pay it to your estate. The trustee decides who receives your superannuation. They are guided by your nomination but not always bound. It is important to have your nomination up to date and that it hasn't expired.

Business - do you run a business? What happens if you fall ill or die? Do you have documents in place for the director duties to be handled by someone?

If you run a business with someone else, succession planning is an important task. We can help you to establish your succession plan and fund it using insurance.

Share Portfolio - are your shares in your name or joint names? Like property, if owned jointly, then they will not form part of your estate and will go automatically to the surviving owner. Otherwise they are likely included in the will.

Digital Assets - many of us now own digital assets such as a YouTube account, online shop, website, crypto currency etc. Do you have a plan in place to manage these assets and to ensure their security? Where are the passwords and user id's? Are they addressed in your Will?

Cash - same as property and shares - the ownership structure will determine if the cash is controlled by the Will or not. Do you have money set aside to pay for funeral expenses?

Collectables, Vehicles and Household contents - if you have items that you want to go to a specific person, it is important that you specify that in your Estate Plan, remembering to balance 'fairness' and 'complexity'.

Below is a document to help you compile your list of 'What'.

What assets
Download PDF • 406KB

For more information on ownership structures and estate planning, check out the post on "Will your SMSF, Company or Trust leak when you are gone?" or get in contact with us to help you put the Who and What with How and When into your Estate Plan.


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