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Last will and KiwiSaver
 
Q.        Do I have to leave specific instructions in my will about my KiwiSaver? Can I ask that my KiwiSaver be transferred to my son if I die? I am married and have been in KiwiSaver for 5 years now. The balance is nearly $30,000. 
A.         You do not have to mention your KiwiSaver specifically in your will - it is an asset like anything else that you own. Should die with a valid will in place your KiwiSaver will be cashed up in due course and the proceeds paid out by your executors according to your instructions.
If you wish to leave most of your assets to your husband or partner but would like your KiwiSaver funds to go to your son, then you should put those instructions in your Will. However, the ownership of your KiwiSaver account cannot be transferred to another person upon your death. The account will be closed and the proceeds paid out to your son. If you did not want your son to have access to the money before a certain age, you can state that in your will. Get legal advice in drawing up your will, as the experience of a lawyer should ensure not only that the will is valid but that you don’t leave instructions that are difficult for your executors to carry out. 
It is a good idea to let your family know how you plan to distribute your assets upon your death, so that there are no surprises. Most of us do not know when we are going to die, so our will should allow for changes to our circumstances over time. If someone gets married their will is automatically cancelled, unless they specifically state that the will is being made in contemplation of marriage. Going into a de facto relationship, however, does not invalidate your will.
One of the benefits of growing KiwiSaver balances is that people who have not had a will up until now are finally getting round to doing something about it. Every adult should have a valid will, otherwise your assets will be distributed according to the Administration Act – an option that is not only more expensive but also unlikely to suit you. For example, if you have a spouse/partner they get your personal goods and the first $155,000 of your estate, and just one third of the remainder. The other two thirds goes to your children. If you have a spouse/partner but no children the remaining two third goes to your parents. Only if you have no children and no parents does your spouse or partner get everything. For those with no spouse/partner your entire estate goes to your children equally, and if you have no children then to your parents. Other blood relatives will inherit if you have neither partner, children nor parents but if you have no blood relatives at all the Crown will get your estate. A simple will is all that is needed to make sure that your assets go to the right people should anything happen to you. 
HB Today 18 November 2014