What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is about making sure your assets go where you want them to go after your passing.
Why do you need to plan?
May people have worked hard during their life and have a large portfolio of assets to their name.
At the event of their death, they want to ensure these assets go to family members or in the case of a Will, the beneficiaries. May people have worked hard during their life and have a large portfolio of assets to their name. At the event of their death, they want to ensure these assets go to family members or in the case of a Will, the beneficiaries.
In planning your Estate, you can minimize the tax payable on the transfer of ownership of these properties and can also protect the properties from being given to a family member who are financially careless.
What do I need to consider when considering Estate Planning?
The obvious part of Estate Planning is your Will. A lawyer will ensure that your Will is “airtight” without ambiguities to avoid any disputes after your passing.
The other part of Estate Planning is your Superannuation. Many people fill out their superannuation forms when they commence work and forget to update these throughout there life as it changes. We recommend that instead of stating a beneficiary on your forms, you state “As per Will”. This insures that the Superannuation company cannot decide on your behalf who is to receive the funds.
Estate Planning also includes preparing your Powers of Attorney and Enduring Powers of Attorney. This is commonly done at the same time as the Will.
The Powers of Attorney are done to allow someone else that you trust to make decisions for you when you are not able to, or if you are overseas and papers need to be signed on your behalf.
An Enduring Power of Attorney allows a person to make both financial and personal decisions on your behalf where you are not capable of making those decisions yourself in the event of illness. They are able to make decisions for you and for your Estate.
Do I need to prepare anything before I come to see you for my Will?
You need to have the following information ready:
- Who will be your Executor? This is the person that will handle all your affairs and ensure all the funds are distributed to the correct people/beneficiaries, It is wise to choose someone that is reliable and organised and confident with talking to the other beneficiaries – and in some instances, standing up to them. This does not need to be a family member and in some cases, the Lawyer is appointed as the Executor.
- Who will be the Trustee/s? In many cases, this is the same person as the Executor, but it doesn’t have to be. Where you have chosen your Lawyer to be your Executor, you may want to appoint a family member as the Trustee. The Trustees role commences are the distribution where there are still assets that need to be managed in Trust for a further period. An example of this is when a house or money can only be transferred when a beneficiary, usually a child, reaches a certain age,
- Who are your beneficiaries? A list of all your beneficiaries and the proportions of your Estate that you want to give to each one,
- Do you have any partnerships with people who are not beneficiaries and how you want these managed.
- How will your social networking assets be handled? If you’d like someone to have access to your social media accounts, you can create a Digital Assets Plan with your accounts and password details and how you’d like these to be handled.