The moral of the story - You can't leave assets in your Will which are not legally owned by you.

Did you know this? It comes as a surprise to many as people just assumed that their all of their assets will be distributed according to their wishes outlined in their will. Unfortunately this is not the case, you cannot leave assets in your will that are not legally owned by you.

Property Held in Trust (Family Trust or Super Fund ‘Trust’): Whoever controls the Trust will have the say as to what happens to the assets in the Trust. Family Trust or a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund with investment assets -these assets can’t be ‘left in your Will’ because under the law although you may be the controller and/or trustee of the Trust during your lifetime you are not regarded by the law as the legal owner of the assets held in the Trust.

A common problem can arise where control of a Trust passes to ‘the children’. Unless the Will or Trust Deed contains special provisions to ensure that all children share control by ‘unanimous consent’ it is possible that a simple majority of children will exercise control in their own interests by excluding some of their siblings.

Shares in Private Companies: Certain shares in private companies cannot effectively be given by Will. The Constitution of many Family Companies contains provisions which can restrict the right of a shareholder either to participate in control or to have a share transfer registered. Once again the terms of the Constitution of the Company needs to be examined to ensure that a gift shares in a Will is capable of achieving the Will maker’s intentions.

Business Partnership property: If you are in a business partnership you can’t leave assets belonging to the partnership in your Will. You can however leave your interests in the partnership in your Will however you need to examine what the Partnership Deed says happens on the death of a partner. Many partnership deeds allow for the surviving partners to take years to pay out the interest of a deceased partner.

The Proceeds of Life Insurance Policies: If the owner of the policy has nominated a beneficiary of the policy, the nomination takes precedence over the terms of the will. It follows that, where a nomination is made, the proceeds of the policy do not form part of the estate. If you wish the proceeds of the policy to go to someone other than the nominee, the nomination must be changed. Each policy should be checked to determine who has been nominated.

What now?

Contact our office to ensure your ‘corporate tree’ of all your entities and assets is up to date. Use the corporate tree to discuss your assets with a lawyer who can prepare the relevant documents to ensure your wishes for your assets can be documented to avoid any problems in the future.

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Join us for our first Mornington Peninsula retailers breakfast and learn how you can not only survive but thrive in an Amazonian retail environment.

There's been a lot of talk recently about the threat of giants like Amazon on bricks & mortar stores. But it doesn't have to be all bad.

Presented by Craig Bass from VendHQ and Shannon Smit & Nadia Hughes, Directors of SMART Business Solutions, here's a taste of what we'll be covering and why you need to get on board the Amazon Express

What you'll get from attending this session

*Using Amazon for your gain
*How to compete with Amazon by not competing with them
*How to use technology to win
*Breakfast

Who Should attend?

*Retail owners and managers
*Business that engage with and service retailers

When: Wednesday 6th September
Time: Arrive from 7 am for a 7.30am  kick off  - finish by 8.30am
Location: Benito's Restaurant, 1196 Nepean Highway, Mornington

FIRST 25 REGISTERED RECEIVE COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS! otherwise tickets are $25 per head but include a wonderful hot breakfast

A healthy cash flow is vital to keeping your business operating optimally. Should a large percentage of your customer's delay, their payments or – in the worst-case scenario – refuse to pay you, your business could be placed in a very difficult position.

Building wealth is not a product, it is a strategy

An event not to be missed:

The 3 Key topics of discussion will be:

1. Australia : As funny as it sounds, is a hidden tax haven

2. There is only one reason you should pay tax - to avoid paying more tax!

3. Recent increased tax exemptions that benefit small to medium businesses