18 November 2010
Approximately 60% of Australians die without a will in place. The average age of people with a will is 82 and the average age of people who die without a will is 62.
Apparently, the majority of us believe that we are all going to die of extreme old age.
Dying intestate can be complex enough but if you have a Self Managed Superannuation Fund the situation can become even more complex. Dying without a will in place is likely to mean that there will be a significant period of time before your beneficiaries can access your superannuation - even if you have binding death benefit nominations in place.
The reason is that once the trustee dies, there may not be anyone with the legal authority to approve the payment of your superannuation to your nominated beneficiaries. If you are a Director of a trustee company with multiple directors, it will depend on whether the trust deed and the company constitution allow the other directors to act without you.
With many of us building a significant amount of wealth within SMSFs, it's important that these funds are not unnecessarily tied up when our families most need them. It should not matter how old you are, considering wealth succession is a prudent strategy.
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This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.