Securing Tomorrow: Understanding Estate and Non-Estate Assets and the role of Nominations.

Estate planning plays a pivotal role in guaranteeing the orderly distribution of assets according to your wishes following your death, thereby safeguarding the financial well-being of your loved ones. It entails planning a comprehensive strategy for the administration of your estate’s assets, properties, and investments. It is essential to prioritise understanding the diverse components comprising an estate and methods to guarantee that its state of administration is clear.

  1. Understanding Estate and Non-Estate Assets

Estate assets are assets including real property, investments, personal belongings, and other tangible assets. The distribution of estate assets is overseen by the executor. Conversely, non-estate assets are those that are not automatically governed by a Will and do not form part of the deceased individual’s estate upon their death. This can include superannuation funds and life insurance proceeds held outside of the estate. Non-estate assets include superannuation, life insurance payouts and assets held in trust. The distribution of non-estate assets requires specific arrangements made by the individual prior to their death, as they may not be covered by terms of the Will. Superannuation and life insurance are often crucial components of estate planning and act as significant sources of financial support for loved ones.

  1. Nominations

In estate planning, nominations involve choosing who will receive your assets or take on specific roles after your death or become unable to make decisions. This includes naming beneficiaries for your financial accounts and insurance policies, as well as appointing executors, guardians for minor children, or trustees to manage assets for beneficiaries. A binding nomination legally obligates the trustee of a superannuation fund or insurance policy to distribute assets according to the specified beneficiaries outlined by the nominator. You can also elect a non-binding nomination which can strip you of your decision-making authority, leaving you with limited control over important matters. This can lead to potential repercussions and outcomes that may not align with your preferences or best interests. Given the importance of Superannuation and Life Insurance in securing financial support for your loved ones, it’s crucial to address these matters properly. Setting up clear legal arrangements helps protect these assets and ensures your beneficiaries are taken care of.

  1. Importance of Professional Guidance

Navigating estate planning can be especially challenging, particularly when it comes to nominations and distributing assets, therefore it is important to obtain appropriate advice.

Salerno Law excels at guiding clients through this complex area of Wills and Estates. Our team comprehend the intricacies of Wills and Estates and offers tailored and accurate guidance that aligns with each individual’s circumstances.

Author: Liam Denniston & Steven Hodgson