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The New Year is a perfect time to take stock, and take steps to set yourself up for the next 12 months. And while most of us are setting (and already breaking) some ambitious resolutions to make this year healthier, happier and more prosperous, there are some simple tasks worth adding to your list of goals to help kick off the year as you mean to go on.   

Here are 9 essential life admin tasks for the New Year to set you up for the next 12 months.

1. Giving your super fund a performance review:

As with any long-term investment, it may not be productive to focus too much on the day-to-day performance. But it is wise to do regular – quarterly or annual – reviews to see if your investments are working for you and performing well.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) annually names and shames the worst performing Super funds. It looks at funds and compares fees versus performance over seven years, giving each a "pass" or "fail" result. 

Find out what’s involved in switching to a better performing Super fund here.

2. Check your insurance cover fits your current situation:

And while you’re checking, it’s a perfect opportunity to see if the insurance cover is worth it.  Your Super may have life cover, income protection and insurance for if you sustain a total and permanent disability following an injury.

These regular reviews are especially important if you’ve recently changed jobs. If the risk profile of your new role has changed significantly, it is crucial to update your terms to ensure you have adequate cover.

3. Consolidate your super

If you have worked for a few different employers you may have multiple Super funds,  several overlapping insurance policies, and worst of all, be paying multiple fees. 

Now is the time to tidy up your Super affairs. The sooner you do, the less of a headache it could become later.

4. Create or update your Will

Do you have a Will? Do your plans to provide for your loved ones after you die reflect your wishes? Has anything changed that might complicate matters or mean your current will needs to be revised?

There are five major life events which should prompt you to update your will:

  • Relationship status changing – getting married, separated or bereaved
  • Starting a family
  • Moving or buying a new home
  • Retiring
  • Becoming ill

A Will should be kept up to date. If you’ve been putting off making changes, now is the time to tick that off the to-do list.

Or, if you don’t have a will in the first place, they’re easy and quick to set up, so this next year is the time to create a Will.

We’ve written about when and how to make a will here.

5. Getting prepared if you're planning to change jobs this year

If you’re thinking of changing employer or even career, the new year could be the perfect time to prepare.

The first thing to do is review your current employment contract.

  • Find out what your notice period is.
  • Work out if leaving will have any impact on getting a bonus or other incentive
  • Check there are no restraint of trade clauses which might affect plans to join a rival firm.

We covered how to leave a job the right way here.

6. Knowing your rights if you're buying selling or renting this year

Your home is likely your biggest asset you ever own. With the last year seeing an ever-changing market – and few signs the next 12 months will be any different – making a mistake could be costly.

So when buying, selling or renting one, navigating the market can be intimidating. It pays to know your legal rights and responsibilities. We covered some key information below. 

Read more about renters rights
10 things people forget when inspecting a house
What can you do if a real estate agent is underquoting?

7. Check in with an elderly or vulnerable loved one

With the cost of living on the rise, a growing trend of "inheritance impatience" is putting pressure on parents and grandparents to share their assets, which can be considered financial elder abuse for some vulnerable people. 

Elder abuse can take lots of different forms – but there tend to be a few tell-tale signs:

  • Family members who try to inappropriately influence their parents’ choices including encouraging them to make changes to their will.
  • Older persons frequently changing their mind about their enduring power of attorney
  • Lack of money for day to day items
  • Loss of jewellery or personal belongings
  • Older person expressing fear, anxiety or confusion when discussing finances, assets, property
  • Unexplained amounts of money missing from bank accounts
  • Unpaid accounts
  • Loss of trust

If you haven’t recently checked in with a vulnerable loved one, make time in the new year to check in and see if everything is ok. Help is available if you suspect someone is suffering elder abuse.

Report it to authorities, or get advice about what legal options are available. There are organisations in each state that can provide assistance.

Learn more about elder abuse and recognising the signs here.

8. Do a safety audit of your home

With the children off school during summer holidays, it’s a good time to do a quick safety check around the house.

You can find helpful safety checklists online which highlight some of the most common hazards.

Here’s one from KidSafe Victoria. 

It’s also worth remembering that some common products have an expiration date. Beyond that time limit, it’s not recommended to keep using them.

Baby and child car seats:

In Australia, the expiration date tends to be 10 years. Using a carseat beyond the expiration date is not illegal under Australian law, but is a manufacturers’ best-practice guideline.

If you’ve received a hand me down from a friend or relative, it’s worth double checking to remind yourself when it’s a good time to replace it.

Smoke alarms:

Test if it’s still working. This should be done regularly. Do you need to replace batteries?

Fire extinguishers:

The same can be said for fire extinguishers. These should be inspected every six months.

Australian Fire Safety Standards can be found here.

9. Read up on your rights before travelling this year

Now that COVID travel restrictions are a thing of the past, travel is booming again, but it's not without challenges. Understand your rights if your luggage is lost. 


Our specialist superannuation lawyers are here to help.

If you're unable to work due to illness or injury, you may be eligible to make a claim on your superannuation insurance. Your injury can be physical or psychological and doesn't need to be work-related. We can help you understand what options are available to you. 

It doesn't cost you anything to know where you stand 

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We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Australian Capital Territory. If you need a lawyer in Canberra or elsewhere in Australian Capital Territory, please call us on 1800 675 346.

We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.