What are beneficiaries? How do I decide if somebody is to be a beneficiary?
Beneficiaries are the people you name in your Will who will receive a benefit from your estate. They may be specifically named by name, or you may simply call them, for example, “my children”. We generally recommend that you name your beneficiaries by name. You also need to consider the share of your estate that you are going to give to that beneficiary. We generally recommend between children and grandchildren, but there may be reasons why you do not want to do this. We are happy to discuss that with you.
What happens to our house if it is jointly owned? Does it form part of the estate, or does it go automatically to my partner?
If your house is owned jointly as “joint tenants”, then the property will pass automatically to the other owner upon your death and your Will is irrelevant in that case. It is important that you understand this when you are making your Will, because the property will not form part of your estate. Your estate is simply all the assets that you have as at the time that you die.
What about superannuation? Does it form part of my estate?
Normally, superannuation will have a nominated beneficiary – that is, it will go to that person or those persons and not form part of your estate. In our experience, you will often need assistance when dealing with the superannuation fund which will have requirements that may or may not be different to the requirements of the Will.
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