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Reasons to make a valid Will

Without an up-to-date and valid Will, you are missing out on a critical opportunity to make proper arrangements for your family’s future.

For a Will to be considered valid:
– it must be in writing
– the will-maker must have the mental capacity
– it must be voluntarily signed by the will-maker or by some other person in the presence of and at the direction of the will-maker
– the will-maker’s signature must be made or acknowledged in front of two or more witnesses, present at the same time
– must be signed, dated and witnessed by two other parties
– the signature of the will-maker or person signing at the direction of, and in presence of the will-maker must be made with the intention of executing the Will.

Here are five reasons why you should make a valid Will:

Provide for the people you care about
If you don’t have a Will it is unlikely that what you want to happen will happen. Instead, your estate will be governed by the laws of intestacy under the Succession Act 2006 and the people that you would like to see benefit from your estate may not.

Leave particular gifts or items for friends or relatives
If you have particular gifts or items that you would like to see passed to particular friends or relatives this isn’t possible unless you have a Will which states your wishes.

Appoint someone you trust to be your executor
When you make a Will you have the choice of appointing your executor; this is the person who will administer your estate and distribute your assets in accordance with your wishes.

Leave particular instructions
If you have pets that you would like a friend or relative to look after or you have particular burial wishes, these can be included in your Will.

Appoint a guardian for your children
You cannot appoint a guardian for your minor children without a Will. If both parents of the children died, guardianship of your minor children would likely pass to the grandparents, and it may be necessary for the Court to decide which grandparents.

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Tax on super death benefits for dependants vs non-dependants

July 9, 2020

A super death benefit is the super paid after a person’s death, usually to a nominated beneficiary. These benefits are subject to different tax treatments, depending on whether the beneficiaries are dependant or non-dependant.

Superannuation death benefits will generally be received tax-free by tax dependants, who are considered to be:

Dependants will not have to pay tax on the tax-free component of their super in the event that they:

However, they will be taxed at their marginal rate if they receive a capped benefit income stream and:

Not all super death benefits are subject to tax; for non-dependants, there is a taxable portion. This component is largely made up of after-tax super contributions that the deceased member has made.

Super death benefit payments are subject to tax when:

Non-dependants must calculate how much money in the super account is a:

The amount of tax non-dependants pay will be based on their marginal tax rate, however, this amount may be reduced by tax offsets. For the taxed element of the taxable component, the effective tax rate is your marginal tax rate of 17% (whichever is lower). For the untaxed element of the taxable component, the effective tax rate is 32% or your marginal tax rate (whichever is lower).