It is wise to seek financial advice when settling a deceased’s estate.
When the time comes to settle the deceased’s estate it is advisable, depending upon the complexity of the ‘estate’ versus ‘non-estate’ assets, to seek both legal and financial advice from a solicitor, accountant and/or financial adviser.
Key documents to locate might include the deceased’s Will, Life Insurance Policy, Superannuation beneficiaries, Testamentary trust deeds etc.
See the section ‘Estate Planning’ on our website for more information.
Please note, any jointly held assets, trust assets and superannuation however, are not necessarily dealt with by the terms of a Will. These are usually considered ’non-estate’ assets for estate purposes.
There may be specific State and Territory legislation that classifies ‘non‑estate’ assets as ‘notional estate’ for the purposes of a Family Law challenge.
The concept of ‘notional estate’ has been introduced in most jurisdictions, as more and more people hold their personal assets in trusts and super funds, sometimes in an attempt to get around Family Provision laws by moving assets outside their ‘actual estate’.
Furthermore, if the deceased had made a ‘binding nomination’ in their superannuation or life insurance policies, the beneficiaries named in those policies will override anyone mentioned in their Will.
If they have a Testamentary trust, the trust continues and its assets will also be distributed according to the trust deed, no matter what is written in their Will.