‘Do I need a codicil to my will?’

Barbara’s husband recently passed away and she has made some financial changes. She asks estate planning lawyer Rod Cunich whether she needs to update her will.

Q. Barbara
My husband passed away earlier this year and I went to my solicitor to update my will. He says it is okay as it is as there were provisions in the event of my husband’s death and he told me to save my money.

Since then, my super has been converted to a managed funds account and I wish this account to be treated differently to the balance of the estate. Can you please advise the correct procedure to add a codicil to my existing will?

A. I’m not certain what you mean Barbara. If the money is no longer in super but in an account owned and controlled by you, then you now need to do a new will to address the changes you require.

If, by ‘managed funds account’ you mean the money remains in super but in a different type of super account, you may be able to direct where your death benefit goes by serving a binding death benefit nomination on the trustee directing where the money is paid and bypass your will. But not all super funds offer this option.

If you go back to your solicitor, she or he should be able to clarify this for you easily. What is certain, however, is that you must do something to activate your wishes, otherwise things won’t unfold the way you want them.

Rod Cunich is a lawyer with more than 30 years’ experience and who specialises in estate planning. If you have a question for Rod, simply email it to: [email protected]

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Disclaimer: This information has been provided by Rod Cunich and should be considered general in nature – legal advice should be sought.

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