As accountants we are continually looking to ensure our clients are educated and advised of issues that are important to their lives and their families. I have included the common issues discussed with clients, but have added a new topic not often considered.
Do you have a current Will?
I stress a ‘current’ Will since you need to ensure that your Will deals with your current position should the unthinkable happen. As circumstances change in your life or the lives of your Estate beneficiaries you need to reassess your Will and draft a new Will to facilitate these changes if required.
Have you nominated a Power of Attorney?
Ensure you have nominated one or multiple people to act in your best interest in case you are unable to by having them made your Power of Attorney. There are various types of Power of Attorney such as ‘specific’, ‘medical’ and ‘enduring’.
What Risk Insurances do you have in place?
As in other Blogs we often refer to the need to consider the various risks and the need for Life, Income Replacement, Trauma and Disability insurances.
Does you Superannuation Fund have a Binding Death Nomination?
Like a Will, you should have a Binding Death Nomination in your Superannuation Fund to ensure that your wishes with regards to superannuation assets are followed and any benefits are left to the appropriate beneficiaries of your Estate.
Where is your Vault?
My fifth suggestion comes from an article by Mark Bouris from the television show, The Apprentice. The article went through the common issues I have listed above, but also referenced the need for a Vault.
The concept is that you have a place where you keep all the important things in your life. The Vault would normally have Wills, Power of Attorney, Titles of property, details of investments etc in it. There may also be a list of important people such as Solicitors, Accountants, Bank Managers, Insurance Agents etc, as well as passwords and access codes to internet sites that family members may require in your absence.
The vault should be somewhere safe and known to the important people in our life. It may be a Deposit Box at our local bank, held at your solicitors, a Safe at home or even a simple filing box. The main thing is that your family, Executors or Power of Attorney know how to find it and how to access it.