At the heart of estate planning is a written Will describing who you would like to inherit your assets. As well as bequeathing assets directly, your Will can also make plans for a testamentary trust. This can be a useful way of providing ongoing support for beneficiaries like children from previous relationships or kids with special needs.
A formal Will also nominates an executor, who will manage and distribute your estate on your behalf. A family member is one option though appointing an independent third party takes the burden off close relatives.
Bypass DIY Wills – there’s too much at stake
As estate planning is a complex area of law, I recommend contacting our office to help you organise a professionally drafted Will. Working together with the appropriate legal experts, we can advise on strategies to minimise tax on inheritances, and as well as help to put the appropriate plans in place so that your wishes for your loved ones can be put into place when the time comes.
Once your Will is finalised let family members know where it’s held. Remember to make sure it’s stored in a place where it will be protected from loss or damage, such as in the event of theft, fire or flood.
Beyond your Will
Some aspects of your estate won’t be included in your Will but should be provided for nonetheless.
Your superannuation for instance, cannot be directly bequeathed in your Will, with the trustees of your superannuation fund deciding who should inherit your superannuation. Completing a binding nomination is the only way to directly control who inherits your super. Professional advice is essential here as super bequeathed to adult children and other non-dependents can be heavily taxed.
If you have business interests, consider how your beneficiaries can benefit from this asset. Again this is an area where I can provide advice.
Managing your wealth into the future
Granting power of attorney is another aspect of a holistic estate plan. Your attorney can perform a range of duties – managing your money, making financial decisions on your behalf, and even making decisions regarding your medical care. I can guide you through the scope of responsibility you feel is right for your attorney.
Power of attorney – ordinary or enduring?
Ordinarily, power of attorney continues only for as long as you decide. Sometimes though you may want the power of attorney to continue indefinitely. This is when ‘enduring’ power of attorney is useful, allowing someone to act on your behalf if you become physically or mentally incapacitated.
None of us knows what lies around the corner so the time to make estate plans is now. Contact us today to get your estate plan underway and ensure peace of mind for yourself and the people who matter to you.