Put simply, Estate Planning means developing an effective plan to ensure your loved ones are properly looked after.
It makes sense to put a plan in place leaving instructions about your legal and medical preferences.
An estate plan includes your will as well as any other directions on how you want your assets handed out after your death. It includes documents that govern how you will be cared for, medically and financially, if you become unable to make your own decisions.
Your WILL is likely to be the primary, though by no means only element of your estate plan. If there’s no valid will in place, an administrator appointed by the court pays your bills and taxes from your assets, then disburses the remainder based on a pre-determined formula which may not be how you intended your assets to be distributed. If you die intestate and don’t have living relatives, your estate is paid to the state government.
Letter of wishes: can also be read in conjunction with your will. Though not legally binding, it provides the ability to guide executors and beneficiaries of your estate on issues which are important to you.
Superannuation: Did you know that your superannuation does not automatically form part of your estate in the event of your death? It does in NSW but if you reside elsewhere it may be appropriate to implement a binding super death benefit nomination so that you can be certain your super will be dealt with in the way you want. If there are no binding death nominations, then the trustee of your super fund will decide how the benefit is to be paid.
Power of Attorney: gives a person you nominate them the legal authority to look after your affairs on your behalf. Powers of attorney depend on which state or territory you are in: they can refer to just financial powers, or they might include broader guardianship powers.
Testamentary Trusts: are usually set up to protect assets. They are a mechanism by which an inheritance can be kept separate from the personal assets of a beneficiary. In effect, they provide benefits in terms of asset protection as well as tax advantages.
We work closely with a law firm who specialises in Estate Planning and understands our clients. They can also provide cost effective and fixed price solutions for our clients. If you would like us to refer you, please let us know.
Allied Investment Group specialises in helping clients take control of their finances so they can have more choices, freedom and financial security.
Contact Allied Investment Group on 1300 886 149 for more information.