We often hear people say I don't need a Will because my spouse will just get everything.
That isn't always correct, but even if it is true you are leaving unnecessary delays, costs and stress for your spouse that could be avoided with a proper estate plan.
In a recent matter we acted for a wife of a long marriage. Their children were adults, and they only had children together. There were no alternative claims against the Estate, just the wife.
The husband had not made a Will or a binding nomination with his superannuation company. The only real assets were a house owned as joint tenants and the super (and associated life insurance).
The house was easy, the superannuation took ten months.
During that ten months the wife had to:
- obtain and provide to the superannuation company a certified copy of the birth certificates for all of the children
- provide to the superannuation company a certified copy of her marriage certificate
- completed a death claim form
- have each of her adult children complete a death claim form
- have each of her adult children provide certified copies of documents to prove their identity (separately to the birth certificates)
- wait while the superannuation company wrote to the children asking them whether they objected to her being paid
The initial email from the superannuation company stated:
"Please be aware that the time frame for processing death claims may be lengthy, because every dependant of the deceased and potential claimant must be contacted, and their intentions recorded."
But I have prepared a binding nomination
Again we hear this along, but have you prepared a binding nomination in the last three years? If you haven't then, as a matter of law in NSW the nomination has expired. It doesn't matter what the superannuation company tells you, if the nomination is older than three years it is not binding.
If you aren't sure how old your's is then call your superannuation company, get a new form sent to you, fill it out and send it back.
Estate planning is more than Wills
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