Your selected location: Perth
15 May 2017

An up-to-date Will is not a luxury, it is an absolute necessity. However, many young people may not realise how necessary a will actually is, even filing this away into the “too hard basket”. In this post we discuss the importance of a will from the perspective of one of our young lawyers.

As a person in my mid-twenties, until now, the thought of having a Will or a Power of Attorney never crossed my mind. Like many people of my age, I thought that I would live until at least 80 and Wills and Powers of Attorney were for the older generations. I didn’t appreciate what would happen to my car and bank account should I die. I also had no idea where my superannuation fund would end up.

Sadly, just recently, two of my high school friends died at the age of 23 in a motor vehicle accident. They were young, healthy and never expected to die at that age.  This made me realise that life can be gone in an instant and I started to wonder what would happen to my assets if I died or was badly injured.  Would my estate assets go to my nephews as I wished them to? Who would be the one dealing with my assets if I died or lost capacity? What would happen to my superannuation fund?

Drafting a Will and Power of Attorney

I am sure most people of my age have heard of a Will or Power of Attorney, but they may not really understand what they are supposed to do. 

A Will sets out who will be your Executor, the person who will deal with your estate on your death and distribute your assets to your chosen beneficiaries.  The Will also sets out who you want to be the beneficiaries of your estate and what you want them to receive on your death. 

An Enduring Power of Attorney appoints someone to manage your assets and make your financial decisions if you are incapacitated, or otherwise unable to do this for yourself. I have found out that having a properly drafted Will ensures that your assets will be left to people of your choosing, not to people set out in a statutory formula in the Administration Act (WA).  Also, having a valid Will ensures that your estate is managed by an Executor of your choice and not by an Administrator appointed by the Supreme Court of WA.

Similarly, having an Enduring Power of Attorney means that someone of your choice will manage your assets and financial affairs if you can’t do this for yourself at any time, rather than having the State Administrative Tribunal in WA appoint someone to do this work for you.

Your Superannuation Fund

Your superannuation fund does not automatically form part of your estate on your death, so your Will may not have any influence over who takes your super fund on your death.  Unless you have a Binding Death Benefit Nomination in place setting out who is to receive your superannuation death benefits on your death, the trustee of your superannuation fund will have the discretion to distribute your superannuation death benefits to certain people within the guidelines of the superannuation laws.   However, the super fund trustee can decide how much and to whom, within this group of people.

A Binding Death Benefit Nomination will allow you to nominate a person or persons of your choice, or your estate, to receive your superannuation death benefits on your death. These people must be beneficiaries permitted by the superannuation laws. 

A person appointed by your Enduring Power of Attorney can also manage your superannuation fund for you if you lose capacity.

Because the laws dealing with Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Superannuation can be quite complex – it is always a good idea to seek good legal advice from people who are experienced in Wills and Estate Planning.

The Wills and Estate Planning team at HHG Legal Group have years of experience in dealing with a range of situations, from the young singles, to the older generations and will be very happy to guide you through the process of preparing your Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and your Binding Death Benefit Nomination in a way that is simple to understand and cost effective.

*This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. Please consult one of our experienced Legal Team for specific advice relevant to your situation.

Supporting Western Australian's for more than 100 years

"Always fast and thorough service. Thank you"

Sitka Pil

My circumstances at the time I made contact with HHG were dire following my argument being rejected by two no win no fee firms. Following my initial meeting with HHG's employment law team I was left feeling extremely positive by the response and concern shown by HHG in regards to their support of my argument along with their preparedness to pursue an outcome on my behalf.

I accept the fact that nobody really wins in these cases (mental health/ workplace) however the end result was what would be considered most favourable and far in excess of what would have been achieved had I not sought the advice from HHG.

I have no hesitation in recommending HHG to anyone caught up in the messy circumstances I found myself in at the time.

Great advice and five-star commitment to their client!!"

Nathan Lynch

"Thank you for such great assistance with the transaction of Flying Domestics on behalf of Lorna Good. It has been such a pleasure to work with the HHG Legal Group and I look forward to working with you in the future."

Jim Goodwin

"Simon Creek and his team were at all times empathic, professional and confident.  My matter needed to be addressed within a pressing time frame, and their availability at short notice and contact after hours was much appreciated.  It caused me considerable stress, but having such a thoroughly reliable and competent team to call on helped me to feel in control. Although I hope not to need their services again in future, I would be confident in doing so!"

Dr Lana Bell

"A good outcome is what we can expect.  A great outcome is a sign of a company which does the very best for their clients. A very big thank you to Daniel Morris for showing empathy towards my small and much needed legal action.

To HHG Legal Group, thank you for a great outcome.  I would recommend your company to anyone seeking legal services."

Jan Atkinson

"Your support this morning was amazingly kind, not to mention your totally reassuring competence, knowledge and wisdom that you used on my behalf.  It was extremely reassuring to have your knowledgeable support, and I particularly appreciated your real and obvious kindness to me. It means so much at a very difficult time. I'm so grateful to you."

Family Law Client

"Janene was very professional and we established a good rapport quickly. The subject of death and wills can be quite confronting to deal with, however, Janene's approach was soft and accommodating."

Lynette Livesey

"A big thank you to HHG for their professional service, continued support, and wide range of legal knowledge. Our clients have given us nothing but kind words regarding HHG Legal Group and so we have no hesitation in referring and recommending Simon Creek and HHG Legal Group for their outstanding services and legal expertise."

Nigel Plowman, Director at McKinley Plowman & Associates

"Simon is a friendly and practical legal advisor. I have received great feedback from the clients I have referred to him and his team at HHG Legal Group."

Richard Beal, Director at BDO

"Over the last few years, I have been impressed by Simon’s legal ability, management skills, entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and people skills. He appears to be that rare breed of lawyer – both knowledgeable and commercial."

Michael Malone, Founder of iiNet

"Our family has been a client of HHG Legal Group over many years.  Business has included drawing up of wills for three generations and preparing of probate for my father in law. I would have no hesitation in recommending HHG Legal Group to anyone requiring such services."

Bernice Climie

"You should be congratulated for the manner in which your staff address clients and we found our dealings with your company, once again a very pleasant experience and we would like to truly thank you for your efforts."

Steve Harvey and Jane Powell

"HHG Legal were absolutely fantastic. Extremely responsive and brought calm to our chaotic family situation through their knowledge and caring attitude. Extremely professional from our very first contact with them and they expertly guided our family though the required legal process over almost a 12 month period."

Amanda Williamson

"Fantastic team! They really care about their client. Tim Colcutt is a 'go that extra mile' guy who gives his client his all. I can't recommend HHG and Tim enough."

Kerry Samson

"I had a fantastic lawyer in Anne Hurley. She helped me out a great deal with good, sound advice in a friendly, professional manner. First class, thanks Anne"

Graeme Hammond

"Marine Plant Systems has been working with HHG Legal Group for a few years now and they continually provide first-class service. Their professional advice has been invaluable to our company."

Carolin Grimm - Marine Plant Systems

"We were kept up to date at all times. Pricing was always updated over the time period so we remained "in budget". Personal access to someone whenever I had questions. All in all a great experience without too much fuss."

Rosslyn Tasker - COO AltusQ Pty Ltd

"Good service you can count on."

Miles Lee

"HHG Legal Group has provided outstanding support as I have taken the journey of buying a business, their professionalism is beyond reproach. Their assistance throughout the Due Diligence process has been invaluable, I would fully recommend them."

Mark Armitage

"Very friendly and efficient service - what a pleasure working with Anne."

Jacques Taylor

"I highly recommend Daniel from HHG Legal Mandurah. When dealing with a complicated legal property matter recently I was extremely impressed by Daniel's honesty and integrity and the legal advice I received. I am very happy with the service from HHG Legal."

Tony Walker

Select your location:

Please select your nearest office location so we can show you the most relevant information.