Common Myths Clients May Have Around Estate Planning – By Aruna Wickremasingha
When we talk Wills, traditionally we think death, doom and gloom. This might make the idea of having a conversation about Wills seem all too depressing and difficult.
This is where you come in.
As a financial adviser, and in light of COVID and the uncertainty that has surrounded 2020, it has never been more important to have an open and honest conversation with your client. Do you have a legal Will? Does it reflect your current circumstances? Does your partner have a legal Will?
The old saying, “Hope for the best, plan for the worst” has never been more true.
In this new world that we find ourselves navigating, here are five myths that you can dispel when talking to your clients about making a legal Will. And most importantly is simply asking the question, do you have a legal Will?
- Making a Will is depressing.
Making a Will does not have to be depressing. Your Wills is an Australian company (supported by SLF Lawyers) that offers you a simple to use, straightforward solution allowing you to cost effectively create a legally recognised Will online from the comfort of your own home.
The software is user directed and the website has been designed to embody empowerment – giving you the opportunity to ensure the right assets, go to the right person, at the right time.
Death is inevitable but dying without a Will doesn’t have to be. By proactively discussing estate planning with your clients, coupled with being able to provide them with a quick and easy online solution to complete their legal Will, this reflects brilliantly on your business whilst encouraging your client to plan for the future of their loved ones. Everyone wins.
- Making a Will is going to cost me an arm and leg.
Making a Will should not be expensive if your situation is straightforward.
Having a legally recognised Will is paramount to achieving true peace of mind and a key component of every Australian’s overall financial wellness. Your Wills offers your clients the opportunity to create a self-directed, timely, cost effective, compliant and user-friendly online Will from $89.95+ GST. For a more complicated situation or if you have any legal questions about preparing your Will, you can speak to SLF Lawyers on 1800 848 870. The first 15 minutes of any consultation about your Will is FREE.
- I have an existing Will.
If your client has an existing Will, the first question to ask should be “When was your last legal Will completed? Does it reflect your current circumstances?”
A change in circumstance may include, but is not limited to; getting married, divorced, having children, pets, a home, investment properties, a new business, assets, debts, separated, remarried, having additional children or a blended family. It is important that your Will reflects your change in circumstances. Many people have a Will but it was completed years ago and is no longer reflective of their life’s circumstances now.
It is with this knowledge you can direct them to Your Wills to complete their Will online, or alternatively, for a complicated situation, to a lawyer to customise their needs accordingly. Not having a current legal Will in place could be significantly detrimental to your practice’s brand and your personal reputation, especially in the eyes of your client’s families and loved ones.
- My assets will automatically go directly to my spouse.
It is important to note that your assets do not necessarily go to your partner when you pass away. In the case of property, this is true for jointly held property, however sole properties work differently and in the event of passing away without a Will, the property may be split between your partner and children.
- I have a Power of Attorney therefore I do not need a Will.
A Power of Attorney form is automatically revoked upon death. It is imperative to have a legally recognised Will for the ultimate peace of mind.
Selecting the right person to make decisions on your behalf is crucial and in order to make this process as easy as possible, we’ve developed 4 forms:
- General Non-Enduring Power of Attorney
- Enduring Power of Attorney
- Instrument Appointing Guardian/Medical Attorney/Medical Treatment Decision Maker
- Advance Care Health Directives.
Remember: if your client dies without a legally recognised Will, the appropriate State Trustee may be able to charge a fee of up to 5.5% of the gross value of assets of your client’s estate. In some instances, this may be more or slightly less*.
Your Wills can assist you to:
- Ring fence your client’s assets.
- Add to your Corporate Super employer offering.
- Add to your client value proposition.
- Offer a Living Will solution to your client.
- If you are taking on storage of Wills as part of your service offering, then you should check what the relevant obligations are (security, fire-safety, access etc.). Your licensee may also have a view or policy around this.
- As part of your holistic offering to your client, you need to ensure your client has a legally recognised Will and it reflects the client’s current circumstances. If you discover that your client does not have a legally recognised Will, you can direct them to Your Wills to complete their Will, or alternatively for a complicated situation, to a lawyer to customise their needs accordingly. Not having a current Will in place could be significantly detrimental to your practice’s brand and your personal reputation, especially in the eyes of their families and loved ones.
- Your Wills conforms and is governed by the legal requirements of each State and Territory of Australia.
- Your Wills complies with the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth).
The feedback has been overwhelming – having a Will provides people with peace of mind – especially in these uncertain times. For more information, read our blog “Financial Wellness in Uncertain Times”: https://www.yourwills.com.au/financial-wellness-in-uncertain-times/.
Use the promotional code AFA10 for 10% off any of our Will packages. We are happy for you to share this code with anyone from your personal network.
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way.
*Please check your relevant State Trustee.
By Aruna Wickremasingha
Co-founder Your Wills