There is a lot that goes into estate planning and ensuring that we get the right amount of money, that goes to the right person, at the right time, tax effectively, can be a process but our advisers are skilled to ensure that at the time of passing that your wealth is correctly passed on to loved ones.
A will can help ensure the assets that form part of your estate get distributed according to your wishes.
But did you know that a will typically only applies to personally held assets and therefore may not deal with a significant portion of your wealth? For example, the proceeds from your superannuation funds and life insurance policies don’t necessarily form part of your Estate. They can pass directly to certain beneficiaries nominated by you or go to your Estate where they’ll be dealt with by your will.
Also, some assets never form part of an estate, like jointly owned assets and assets held in a discretionary family trust.
To cover all bases, thorough estate planning (or personal succession planning as it’s also known) involves putting in place strategies that address all your assets, not just those covered by your will.
If you die without a valid will, intestacy legislation will determine how to distribute your estate assets to your surviving family members. If you die without a valid death benefit nomination in your superannuation or life insurance, the proceeds may not be distributed according to your wishes. If you’re badly injured in an accident or lose mental capacity, who will manage your affairs while you’re still alive but unable to make your own decisions?
Knowing exactly who will get your stuff when you die, ensuring someone can make important decisions for you if you are suddenly unable to make those decisions for yourself. Setting up your will, Power of Attorney and Medical Guardianship, and keeping these documents current, is one of the most important things you can do for your family.
We work with you and your solicitor to ensure that your financial plan, and the tax implications of your death, are included in your Estate Planning considerations. What you would like to have happen in your Estate Plan may also affect what’s going on in your financial plan. Doing this right means that each plan cannot be done in complete isolation to the other.
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