Whilst often a difficult topic to have, Estate Planning is a topic that at some point everyone needs to think about.
Estate Planning consists of more than simply making preparations in relation to your death, it also involves making preparations in the event that you are no longer able to manage your own affairs whilst you are still living (due to ill health or mental illness).
This can involve;
- Preparation of a Last Will
- Appointing an Executor
- Enduring Power of Attorney (and lodgement with Landgate)
- Enduring Power of Guardianship
- Advanced Health Directives
- Discretionary Trusts
People work hard to save and invest during their lifetimes, in order to own assets and build wealth for themselves and their family, why would you risk that not being distributed in the way that you want when you pass away?
Questions to consider
- What Estate Planning documents should I have in place?
- Who will be the beneficiaries of my estate?
- Have I nominated an Executor, and a back up should they not be able to do it or not want to?
- Have I nominated beneficiaries within my Superannuation fund?
- Who will take care of my financial affairs should I lose my mental ability to make decisions?
- Who will take care of my health decisions if I lose my mental ability to do so?
- Have I made an Advanced Health Directive (such as a DNR)?
Preparation of a Will
All too often people do not have a properly constructed Will and many rely on the Will Kits they can buy at the local stationery, Post Office or on the internet and try to do it all themselves. It is critical to understand matters of how assets will be dealt with in relation to taxation upon someone's death.Asset protection is also important to ensure that the beneficiaries of a deceased estate get what they want them to get and prevent any challenge to their wishes by other family members or creditors making a claim on the estate. Liquidity and timing of arranging disposal of assets to be willed can also create delays in the Estate being finalised and distributions to beneficiaries can also be problematic if not planned for.
Many people think that their affairs are simple and therefore only need a simple Will - they are wrong. The courts are full of many cases where Wills are being challenged and sadly many Wills are deemed to be invalid due to some discrepancy.
Did you know that many Wills are contested each year... but how many of those get overturned? Watch this video to find out more...
Power of Attorney
Estate Planning also comes into place prior to someone passing away. Such as when someone losses their ability to manage their own financial affairs due mental or physical incapacity due to an illness such as Dementia.
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal instrument that can be established to overcome many difficulties in assisting family members or friends when, for whatever reason, a person cannot do it for themselves. Having an EPA in place as part of a comprehensive Estate Plan is highly recommended.
The following video explains more about how Estate Planning documents are essential to supporting your family when issues such as Dementia occur...
Incorporating Estate Planning into your Financial Plan
A Financial Planner can discuss all the personal wishes of how people want to achieve their particular financial position and in doing so have the peace of mind that a good Estate Plan can be put into effect for them.
A Financial Planner is skilled to consider the total financial position of their individual private clients and recommend certain Strategies to achieve their Goals and Financial objectives.
If you want to know more about how we can help your Estate Planning contact us.
To read our brochure on Estate Planning click on this link.