You should be clear on how you want your beneficiaries to benefit – do you want them to inherit an asset, an income or cash?
Your Will cannot dictate who inherits the benefits from your life assurance policy. You might think you can revoke the beneficiaries you have nominated on a life insurance policy by simply nominating other beneficiaries in your Will. But your loved ones might be in for a nasty surprise, when they find out (after your death) that you were wrong.
The life insurer has a contractual relationship with you as the policyholder, and they will only pay out the benefits to the beneficiaries nominated in your insurance contract, regardless of whether your Will states otherwise.
If you want to change your life insurance policy beneficiaries, you need to do this directly with your life insurance company. You can’t do it in your Will.
Similarly, when it comes to your superannuation fund benefit, the discretion to distribute your death benefit lies with the trustees of the super fund, and they might not necessarily follow your wishes as stated on your beneficiary nomination form. It is a complex area of the law, which may well have changed since you started with your super fund.
Death & taxes, illness & share-market corrections may be unavoidable … but they don’t have to ruin your family or your business. Make the effort to protect the people you really care about. Call Genders & Partners to create an integrated estate plan and avoid questions regarding death benefits in Adelaide and other areas in South Australia. And do it NOW … before it is too late.
Rod Genders is a senior Australian lawyer specialising in estate planning and accident compensation. His boutique specialist law firm is one of the oldest and most respected in Australia – visit it at www.genders.com.au . Rod is also a prolific author and speaker. Some of his articles on Wills, Probate, Trusts, Estate Planning, Asset Protection and Retirement Planning may be found at www.genders.com.au/adelaide-lawyer-blog/.
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