Developing an estate plan gives you control over your assets during your life and after your death. With a smart estate plan, many people are able to provide a financial foundation not just for their children, but for generations to come.
An effective estate plan will include a tax considered Will to protect your estate and the interests of your beneficiaries in the event of your death. The Will may incorporate a testamentary trust.
Jointly held assets, trust assets and superannuation funds however, are not necessarily dealt with by the terms of the Will. These are generally considered non-estate assets. It is therefore important to have a considered and comprehensive estate plan to ensure that all assets are transferred in accordance with you wishes in an effective and efficient manner.
Things to consider:
Firstly, have you considered whether you've accumulated enough assets to provide for your family and pay off debts if you die? If you think there's a shortfall, your financial adviser will be able to suggest some ways for you to make up the shortfall, potentially with the aid of an insurance policy.
Have you also thought about who will inherit which assets and in what proportions? Do you have business interests where only part of the family is involved and do you need to equalise the estate for other beneficiaries?
If you're sick or injured and unable to control your investments, have you chosen someone to manage your financial affairs for you? This is where a Power of Attorney would step in, to make decisions, sign documents, and act on your behalf in various matters.
You should also consider medical treatment and lifestyle decisions by putting in place various other attorneys such as Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) and Enduring Guardianship.
You should also regularly review your estate planning needs on a regular basis and particularly when an important event occurs such as:
• Marital breakdown
• The birth of a child
• The death of a relative you have provided for
• Starting or ceasing a business
For example, you may have a guardian nominated in your Will to care for your children however when one or more of them is an adult, your preferences may change? You may also have a falling out with someone specified in your Will and if left unchanged, may result in your wishes not being met.
An effective estate plan is an integral part of any financial plan. It is your final say in how you want your assets to be dealt with when that time comes. If you would like to speak to some, please Contact Us