New book on estate planning

By Rachel Lane

“Wills, Death & Taxes Made Simple” by Noel Whittaker is available now, it is the ultimate guide to estate planning.

Recently, Noel was having a chat with the guy who takes care of his garden, and he asked him if he had a will. He replied, “never got around to it. It all seems too much trouble.” Noel responded, “you’ve been married before haven’t you — and don’t you have any children from that relationship?” He said yes to both questions. He got a shock when Noel told him that according to the laws of intestacy, the previous family may get a bigger share of his money than he would like if he dies without a valid will.

Estate planning is a massive topic because it covers such a myriad of issues, many of which are uncertain. It’s not just the interplay of important topics such as tax, superannuation, and Centrelink — the estate planning laws differ from state to state.

To this heady mix, we add the many facets of human psychology. Many people just don’t get around to making a will, and even if they do, there are the other challenges of choosing an appropriate executor and handling the competing interests of family members. There are further complications due to the number of people living longer and re-partnering later in life, and also the possibility of diminishing mental capacity.

And there’s more — many people have children living overseas, and over 50% of Australians were born overseas or have a parent living overseas. This brings the complexity of overseas assets and overseas beneficiaries into play.

Here are just a few of the issues you will learn about as you read this book:

  • What 80% of people fail to do after they’ve made their will. The consequences may be horrendous.
  • The difference between a superannuation member benefit and a superannuation death benefit. Not understanding this could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary tax.
  • A common misunderstanding about enduring powers of attorney.
  • Which assets fall outside the will, and cannot be bequeathed in terms of the will.
  • The major mistake made by many pensioner couples when they are making their will.
  • Getting it wrong can cost the survivor their entire pension.
  • How to handle the complexities that occur when you are left a property situated overseas. Strategies to prevent family squabbles.
  • What do you need to know if you wish to contest a will.
  • Why you need to be wary about accepting the role of an executor.
  • The best kind of assets to leave to beneficiaries who are overseas residents. The tax treatment is complex.
  • The main reason most wills are challenged, and what to do to try to prevent this.

The book is an invaluable tool in your search for financial freedom. It’s available in most bookstores or at

Rachel Lane and fellow finance expert Noel Whittaker are the authors of Downsizing Made Simple, the 2nd edition is out now. The Downsizing Made Simple website is here to guide your downsizing journey with great information, tools and easy-to-use resources.



The ultimate downsizing guide

Let Noel Whittaker and Rachel Lane guide you through the legal and financial maze, explain how a move can affect your lifestyle, superannuation, pension and benefits, and share some real life stories from readers.

Whether you’re moving to a townhouse or apartment in a strata title development, considering a granny flat or tiny house with family, looking at collaborative housing with like-minded people, or making the move to a retirement community, listen to the experts, and make it your best move.

Download the 1st chapter free!

Get your hands on a copy of our new book

Are you buying this as a Christmas gift? To avoid disappointment, ensure your order is placed by 12 December, so it can be delivered in time.

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