Investing? Think about a Will.
Author: Jono O’Grady
Written: 28 11 2022
3 min read
DIY investing has become a hot topic in New Zealand in the last decade. The rise of digital investment platforms has seen a sea change in the investment space – barriers that once existed have been removed and financial investing has become accessible to almost everyone. Rather than needing a large sum of money to book a meeting with a financial adviser or planner, you can now get started online for a fraction of the cost. The Financial Services Council is estimating that around 1.5M Kiwis are either currently investing or intending to invest through DIY investment platforms. But this rapid rise in DIY investing may mean consumers are missing out on a fundamental question which financial advisers and planners often ask: “Have you got a Will?”
A Will is a legal document that expresses the wishes of an individual after their passing. If you have personal assets worth more than $15,000 you cross a legal threshold that requires you to have a Will if you want a say in who gets your assets, as your estate will need to be administered or settled by the executor of your Will.
Flint Wealth, an investment platform specialising in managed funds, and Footprint, as an online Wills provider, both live in the digital platform space. Both platforms serve Kiwi customers wanting to get ahead financially. We interviewed Angela Vale, Chief Executive Officer at Flint Wealth and Belinda Heunis, Chief Business Officer at Footprint about the importance of having a Will when investing. It turns out having a Will is pretty important!
We asked Angela Vale why it is important to have a Will when investing. She said that "when growing wealth, it’s important to protect your assets. A Will offers peace of mind that your wealth is passed on to the people you want it to go to. Not having a Will when it’s needed can result in your assets getting dispersed according to the Administration Act, which means you could be leaving funds to unintended beneficiaries. Creating a Will is a part of good financial planning and is something that needs to be considered as soon as you start to acquire assets.”
She commented “a lot of Kiwis may not think of themselves as investors. Yet they have KiwiSaver accounts, or other assets like term deposits, savings accounts or own a property. Investing is fundamentally about growing wealth over time so you and your family can plan for and live your most fulfilling life.”
With so many Kiwis utilising online investment platforms like Flint, many may be reaching the $15,000 threshold without realising the need for a Will.
Footprint is an online platform providing Wills and bespoke employee benefit programmes. They are New Zealand’s largest online Will provider, and the first to offer an online Will subscription service. On the importance of having a Will when investing, Belinda Heunis said: “It is really important for people to have a Will, especially when you work so hard to build up your personal assets in your life. Some people don’t realise the impact on those left behind if they pass away without having a Will in place. Apart from reducing the time and cost to administer your estate, having a Will provides peace of mind that you have made it as easy as possible on those left behind and at a time when they are grieving.”
Belinda also commented “The purpose of having a Will is to create a list of instructions which you leave behind that lets your family know who gets what from your estate when you pass away. Wealth protection is all about securing your financial future by growing your wealth and a Will is one of the things which protects your wealth.”
Both Angela and Belinda emphasised the importance of having a Will when investing. A Will not only protects your assets when you pass but can provide you with peace of mind that you have made things easy for those who you love most. With so many New Zealanders investing or intending to invest through online platforms, we think it’s important to raise the Wills conversation.
Are you investing? We reckon you should think about a Will.
IMPORTANT NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER:
All content shared is of a general nature, current to the time it was penned, and is not financial advice. Before making any investment decisions, please be sure you have completed full due diligence. This should include reading the product disclosure statement (PDS), considering fees and taxation, identifying your time horizons, and understanding the performance history and reputation of the investments you are considering.
Please note: When investing you are not guaranteed to make money (and on occasion you may lose some or all of the money you began with). Seek independent advice to establish if an investment is suitable for your financial situation and long-term wealth generation goals.