A common misconception amongst young adults is that you don't need a Will. It is not a priority until certain milestones have been reached such as marriage or purchasing a first home. It is generally believed that there are not enough assets to require the need for a Will.
However, superannuation and life insurance policies are often overlooked and can hold substantial value – sometimes in the millions of dollars. Superannuation is not owned personally but is held on your behalf by the trustee of your superannuation fund.
Upon death, the payment of superannuation and any life insurance can be directed to an estate with the proceeds distributed to the beneficiaries of a Will.
It is important to safeguard these valuable assets to ensure that they are distributed to intended beneficiaries.
If a person dies without a Will, this is referred to as dying 'intestate'. This means that who manages the deceased's assets and who benefits from those assets is governed by law. The risk of this is that if a person, such as a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, of the deceased claims to be a de-facto, they may end up controlling and benefitting from an estate that the deceased had not intended for them to.
By creating a Will, young adults can decide who can manage their estates (such as parents) and who they would like to benefit from their superannuation and life insurance.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.