Late in 2018, the comparison website conducted a survey of thousands of Australians and found that about 52% (equivalent to about 10 million citizens if extrapolated to the entire population) did not have a valid will.

The risk of dying intestate is of course that one’s assets are likely to be distributed by your home state’s public trustee, rather than in a way you may prefer. However estate planning, if carried out in a serious way, is much more than just having a valid will.

Of course having a will, and even powers of attorney, are centrally important, but there are many other aspects that relate to the transfer of the wealth that you have spent a lifetime building. And with the blending of families that has become much more common in recent times, estate planning has become more important when dealing with sometimes complex family structures.

So gone are the days where simple wills and powers of attorney sufficed.  In this day and age, it is very common for family groups to have assets held in individual names, discretionary trust structures and self-managed superannuation funds.

Parties often ignore these structures as part of the estate plan, thinking that a will should be able to deal with the whole lot. However it can be the very structures used in an effective estate plan that can save the day. Readmore