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    Test your knowledge

    Date:

    How much do you know about estate planning?

    There are common misconceptions about estate planning that pop up all the time. As a legal firm focussed on wills and estates, we’re here to put your understanding to the test with the below quiz.

    The information provided in this quiz is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice or used for decision making purposes. Each legal situation is unique and we invite you to contact us at the below details to obtain tailored advice for your specific circumstances.

    1. If I die without a valid Will:

    A. My immediate family will receive my estate automatically

    B. My estate will get distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules set out in Victorian law

    C. The State Government gets my estate 

    2. When I die, my superannuation will automatically be paid to my estate and be distributed in accordance with my Will:

    A. Yes

    B. No

    3. I made a Will in 2010 while single and left everything to my sister who has special needs. I got married in 2023 and haven’t made a new Will. If I die now, who will receive my estate:

    A. My sister

    B. My spouse automatically

    C. The State Government

    D. My estate will get distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules set out in Victorian law

    4. If I lose capacity, my wife/husband/defacto spouse automatically has legal authority to manage my affairs:

    A. Yes 

    B. No

    5. If I make a Will whilst married giving everything to my spouse and then separate but are not yet divorced, is the Will automatically invalid: 

    A. Yes 

    B. No

    6. Which of the following is/are true? You can make a superannuation binding death benefit nomination to: 

    A. Whoever you like

    B. Family only – parents, siblings, spouse and children

    D. Your spouse, children, anyone who is dependent on you or you are dependent upon

    Answers

    b) Not making a Will means your estate will be distributed according to a fixed distribution scheme set out in law which is inflexible and does not account for your wishes or particular circumstances, above and beyond which family members survive you. 

    b) Superannuation does not automatically form part of your estate and is either distributed on your death according to your binding death benefit nomination (BDBN) or, if you haven’t completed a BDBN, then your super fund trustee has discretion to pay your super to your spouse, children, a person with whom you have an interdependency relationship (see comment at 6 below) and/or your estate. If your super is paid to your estate, the money is paid in accordance with your Will, or if you die without a Will, according to the laws of intestacy. 

    d) Marriage has the effect of revoking a Will that is not made in contemplation of marriage. If you die with a revoked Will, then your estate passes to your next-of-kin according to the laws of intestacy, which in this scenario, is your spouse, but it’s not automatic.

    b) If you lose capacity without having an enduring power of attorney document in place, it is too late for you to make this document, and it is not possible for your partner to make this document for you. Being a de facto or married couple alone gives you no special legal authority to deal with one another’s financial and personal matters – an application to VCAT is required and there is no guarantee that VCAT will appoint the person who applies.

    b) It is only upon divorce that the gifts and appointments to a former spouse under a Will are revoked and a former spouse is treated as having predeceased the testator. Mere separation is not sufficient. The Will made during marriage in this scenario remains valid to appoint your estranged spouse as your executor and pass everything to your spouse.

    c) You can only validly nominate a dependent under superannuation law to receive your super upon death, which does not include a parent, sister, or friend unless they qualify as a person with whom you have an interdependency relationship. Most of the time, this requires that you live together, have a close personal relationship, and one or both of you provide the other with financial, domestic and personal care and support. If you want to leave your super to someone who is not a valid dependent, you can nominate your legal personal representative so that your estate receives your superannuation. This will allow your superannuation to be distributed according to your Will. 

    How’d you score?

    Score 0–2:

    It looks like there’s some room for more guidance when it comes to your estate planning and deceased estate knowledge. Don’t worry though, McManus & Co is here to help you navigate the complexities of estate planning and ensure your assets are protected for the future.

    Score 3–5:

    Not bad! You have a decent understanding of estate planning but there’s still more to learn. We invite you to reach out to McManus & Co to obtain expert advice and assistance in fine-tuning your estate planning strategy.

    Score 6:

    Impressive! You’ve demonstrated a solid grasp of some key concepts surrounding succession law. With guidance from our experienced wills & estates lawyers, you can refine your knowledge even further and ensure that you have a comprehensive and effective estate plan in place.

    McManus & Co Lawyers
    McManus & Co Lawyershttp://mcmanuslawyers.com.au
    McManus & Co Lawyers Suite 103, 1 Thomas Holmes St Maribyrnong VIC 3032 T: (03) 9318 4188

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