Estate Planning

While you’re nailing this adulting thing, it’s important to consider what happens when you die. We know, it’s kind of icky – and something that people generally don’t like to discuss but the reality is – it’s going to happen.

When it does, do you have a plan for your kids? Do you know what will happen with your assets or with your debts? The common response from young people is ‘I have nothing… what am I planning for?’ and while on the surface that seems like a logical question – unless you know the exact day and time you’re going to be leaving this mortal coil – how can you be certain that you’ll have it done before you get hit by the ill-fated bus?

The simple things you can do is to make sure you get your Binding death nomination sorted in your Super, get a Power of Attorney in place (that is someone who can make decisions for you if your are sick and injured and unable to look after your own affairs) and get a Will.

These don’t cost anywhere near as much as you think they will, and once they’re done – they generally only need minor updates in your lifetime. Better to have it done than not.

Major Misconceptions

I wrote my will down on a piece of paper and it’s at home – A will has to take a very specific form and format, and things can change. If you want to make sure your wishes are respected get it done properly.

I completed a will kit from the Post Office – It’s much better (particularly if you’ve had a relationship breakup or kids are involved) to get it done properly, The standard will kits won’t address those private issues adequately.

I got my will for Free at the Public Trustee – Nothing (and we mean nothing) is free. Be very wary of receiving what should be ‘high grade legal advice’ for nothing. Often the administration people who facilitate this service can’t (or shouldn’t) be giving legal advice. Then of course, most people don’t realise that the Public Trustee charge huge fees to administer your estate when you die. Just do the smart thing and get it done properly.