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Why it's important to have a will

25 Nov 2020 by  Amanda Beeslaar

Have you thought about what might happen to your KiwiSaver money, when you pass away?

Your KiwiSaver account will become part of your estate if you die. (You can’t nominate beneficiaries.) It’s important you tell your next of kin who your KiwiSaver provider is and, if your account is more than $15,000, it pays to have a will.  

Your KiwiSaver could be quite a chunk of money and you’d want it to go to the people you want, right? If you have a will then you get to decide who your estate (including any KiwiSaver money) goes to on your death.  If you don’t have a will, then the law sets out how your estate will be divided, which can lead to unnecessary delays and stress, at a time when your loved ones are already dealing with so much.

Why it pays to have a will if you have over $15,000 in KiwiSaver

The average balance for a member of Aon KiwiSaver Scheme is now $34,485.   Anyone who passes away with assets over $15,000 (including KiwiSaver), will need to have a will so that probate can be granted for assets to be transferred to their estate. 

Probate, granted through the Courts, is a legal document required to close KiwiSaver accounts with a balance over $15,000.    Having a will speeds up the probate process and ensures your KiwiSaver money is distributed as you’ve specified.   If you die without a will, the court will decide how to divide your estate without your input, and this can cause unnecessary delays and additional costs.  

Have a record of who your KiwiSaver provider is

Make sure you tell your next of kin who your KiwiSaver Scheme provider is.  They will need to contact the scheme provider to discuss the documentation required to finalise and pay out the money that has accumulated in your account. 

If you don’t already have a will, we recommend you seek legal advice to set this up.    If you’re not sure where to start, you can visit the sorted website to learn more, or contact Footprint who offer an online wills service.

If you have any further questions please get in touch with us.

Amanda Beeslaar

Amanda Beeslaar is the Head of Retirement Products and responsible for overseeing the operations and growth strategy for the Aon KiwiSaver Scheme and Aon Master Trust. Amanda has been with Aon for nearly 12 years and has a passion for retirement and financial capability and is an active participant in the financial industry.