Death and your Safe Deposit Box
Secure your Legacy in the Event of your Death
If you have a spouse, are in a de facto relationship or have children then having a will or testament in place for when you pass should be important to you. This article is about planning ahead for the event of your death, understanding how your choices may affect your partner, your children or your next of kin, and why we believe death and your safe deposit box should be considered alongside each other.
Your will is the most important consideration, as it is a legal document that outlines how you wish for you property to be distributed after your death; as well as who you name as your executor or trustee to act on your behalf to distribute your property and assets. This includes possessions, property, shares, bank accounts and the contents of your safe deposit box.
Death can bring about Conflict
Everyone over the age of 18 should form a will and safely secure this legal and private document in preparation for death. Considering that in your lifetime you may accumulate in excess of $1 million across your superfund and portfolio of assets, you would agree with the Law Society Journal that where there is a will, there is a high likelihood of a legal dispute.
The fact is that much like divorce, when a will is involved human nature may cause others to make irrational decisions. When a will is contested after a death, legal proceedings can severely dwindle the funds that make up the inheritance and considerably delay the process of settling an estate.
As in the case of Kim Pearce, who The Australian wrote of in 2016, a person out of nowhere decided to contest her aunt’s estate. After receiving a simple letter in the mail, Kim says that the person began to show their true colours the moment a potential payday was apparent, marking the beginning of what Kim described as a year of hell that destroyed relationships and resulted in a dependance on pharmaceutical drugs.
In an even more serious scenario where you have no will or testament in place at the time of your death, you pass in what is called intestate. This means that without any instructions from you, the settling of your estate becomes the responsibility of the Public Trustee who freeze accounts and access to property including the contents of your safe deposit box.
Secure Possessions and Legal Documents
When preparing for your death, there are other steps you can take to ensure your wishes are carried out. In the case of superannuation funds, these do not automatically form part of your estate. Therefore it is vital that you include a binding death benefit nomination, which allows you to nominate who will receive your super funds. Alongside the above, you may also nominate a legal representative in your will who will receive the proceeds of your estate and distribute these according to your wishes.
After your will is written, you are advised to store the document in a safe place that is easy for your next of kin to access after you death. Today, various private vaulting facilities offer safe deposit boxes for rent in a secure storage facility that provides clients with absolute privacy and confidentiality, guarded by the highest standard of security.
When renting a safe deposit it is compulsory for you to list a next of kin to be contacted in the event of your death. In better facilities, access to your safe deposit box and your valuable items is made exclusive to you by biometric technology, a unique pin code and a single set of keys which only gives you access to your SDB, to be kept in your possession.
At Private Vaults Australia, we offer safe deposit boxes in our world-class storage facility, with a complimentary offer of $20,000 insurance on any safety deposit box to get you setup.
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