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What Happens when the Good Die Young?


So you're young (or young-ish).  You don't have many assets.  You don't think you need a Will.  What can go wrong?  
 
Consider this
You live at home with your mother.  You have little to do with your father.   
You don't have a Will when you die prematurely, although you'd prefer your mother gets your assets . 
Your mother administers your estate which is worth about $80,000.  Half goes to your mother and half goes to your father under the intestacy rules. 
You have superannuation (including a payment for your accidental death) which is worth about $450,000.  

Who is entitled to your Superannuation?  Your father is excluded as he is not a beneficiary (as narrowly defined under the relevant legislation).  Your mother may be a beneficiary as you lived together and was financially dependent on you.  
 
The issue however is that your mother, as the administrator of your estate, has an obligation to ask the superannuation trustee to exercise its direction to have the superannuation paid to the estate.  Therefore your mother must ask the trustee to have your superannuation paid to your estate.  This means your father will get half.  
 
The above occurred recently, and the father sued the mother successfully.  Great for lawyers but not great for you or your parents.  
 
It doesn't take long to build up assets of a large enough size that people might argue over, so make sure you take steps to ensure that assets you own and have control over will be distributed in accordance with your wishes. 
 
SPM Law can help you have the assets you own and have control over, distributed to the people you want. Contact Wills and Estates specialist Fiona Allen today on 5440 4800 to make an appointment.


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