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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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Your First Tax Return: What You Need To Know

June 15, 2021

Tax return season is quickly approaching for individuals. You may need to begin thinking about the process sooner rather than later to ensure that you have everything ready for your accountant. If you’ve never had to complete a tax return before (and it’s your first time) or are still uncertain about what you need to do, this process can feel a bit like a Mount Everest you need to climb.

Putting it simply, if you are earning or will earn more than $20,542 this year, you will need to lodge a tax return. However, if you haven’t made that amount but your employer has taken tax out of your pay, you should lodge a return anyway to receive some (if not most) of that money back.

How much money you receive back from the tax return will be affected by how much income you have earned. Some debts (such as HECS or HELP) will begin to take money out of your return after reaching a certain income threshold level (currently set at $46,620).

A tax return is where you report all of your income earned over the past financial year. It should include ATO-reported income (which you generally won’t have to worry about as we have access to it automatically) such as salary or non-ATO reported income. This income may be income that has not been sent to the ATO and could include tips, any income you’ve earned while working under an ABN or payments from a family trust. You need to work out all of the income that you have earned and report it to remain compliant with the ATO.

In a tax return, you will also be entitled to make tax deductions on certain items if they apply to your situation. This means that you may receive a greater amount in your tax refund.

You will be entitled to tax deductions on items such as:

If you want to make sure that you understand precisely what you need to do to lodge your tax return, keep this in mind:

For assistance during the lodgement of your tax return, you can seek advice from us. We’re here to help ensure you meet your tax obligations by reporting your income correctly for this financial year.