MYTH – When I die, if I don’t leave a Will, my assets will go to the government.
BUSTED – Untrue, your assets will be distributed, usually to your relatives, in accordance with the laws of intestacy contained in the Administration and Probate Act 1919. It could only happen if you die with no living next of kin.
MYTH – When I die, the government will tax my estate through death duty.
BUSTED – Death duties have been abolished since about 1980. However, as many capital growth assets have been acquired since the introduction of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in 1985, CGT has replaced death duties as a testamentary concern.
MYTH – Will making is expensive.
BUSTED – No, the preparation of a Will by Public Trustee is free if Public Trustee is appointed Executor.
MYTH – When making my Will, I can specifically leave out my family as beneficiaries.
BUSTED – You can do this, but they might be able to bring a successful claim against your estate. The Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972 South Australia provides that, irrespective as to the contents of your Will, a specified range of persons may make a claim on your estate upon your death. The Supreme Court is empowered to vary the provisions of your Will. The Act is aimed at ensuring the provision of proper maintenance and support for your family or dependants from your deceased estate.
MYTH – If I divorce my spouse and die without updating my Will, he/she will receive my estate.
BUSTED – No, divorce revokes any provision made under your Will for your ex-spouse.