Business

The importance of the right will

Noel Whittaker
Noel Whittaker

MUCH has been written about the importance of having a valid will, but getting the will right is just as important as getting it signed. 

Usually older couples make out what we call "I love you" wills whereby they each leave all their assets to the survivor in the event of a death of one of them. This might be fine in some circumstances, but it can have devastating consequences if they are receiving the aged pension.

This is because the asset test for a homeowner pensioner couple is much harsher than for a pensioner single. Couples can own up to $1,018,000 of assets, plus the family home before losing eligibility for the pension - for a single the cut off point is just $686,000. 

Think about a couple with assessable assets of $600,000 and who are receiving a combined pension of $626.50 per fortnight. If one died and all the assets went to the survivor, they would be assessed as a single pensioner and the pension would drop to just $128.93 a fortnight. That is a reduction in income of almost $500 a fortnight or $13,000 a year. 

The problem is that a one person household has almost as much household expenditure as a two person household. The surviving spouse could find themselves with severe cash flow problems at the same time as they are trying to cope with the death of their life partner.

A better option may be to leave part of the assets to a relative such as a child. Of course this does not work in all circumstances - advice also needs to be taken about whether this would have any effect on the entitlements of the recipient ,and whether the money is likely to be lost if that relative has a relationship breakdown. 

Noel Whittaker is a director of Whittaker Macnaught Pty Ltd. His advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions. His email is noel.whittaker@whittakermacnaught.com.au. Or follow him on Twitter @NoelWhittaker.



Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

YOU may not associate Brisbane with a burgeoning art scene, but you’d be mistaken.

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

BIG FREEZE: First frosts for Southern Downs this week

Frosty grass

It's take a while to get here, but the first frost is not far away

Woman charged with low range drink driving going to work

Police were involved in the Saturday night operation.

Police charge woman with low range drink driving on way to work

Game on at new arcade in Warwick

PLAY ON: Elizabeth Dennis gives the new arcade games at Video Ezy a shot.

New games arcade unveiled at Video Ezy

Local Partners

HBO spills new details on Game of Thrones’ final season

JUST ahead of the premiere of Game of Thrones season 7, we’ve been given new details about what to expect from the eighth and final instalment.

Karl’s rant on Corby: ‘Made to look like idiots’

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Today co-host launched a tirade against Schapelle Corby media circus

Game on at new arcade in Warwick

PLAY ON: Elizabeth Dennis gives the new arcade games at Video Ezy a shot.

New games arcade unveiled at Video Ezy

Big Pineapple festival safety concerns as 100s walk home

LONG WALK HOME: Many festival goers opted to take a dangerous walk home due to transport difficulty following the Big Pineapple Festival in Woombye on Saturday.

Big Pineapple festival-goers have braved dangerous walks home

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

Sally Skelton and Bojesse Pigram pictured after their battle performance on The Voice.

Sunshine Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!