Appropriate Estate and Succession Planning can give you peace of mind as you get older. It is important to keep your will up to date but Estate Planning involves much more than just putting together a will. An Estate Plan is designed to manage all factors relating to the transfer of your wealth and assets after you die. This may include powers of attorney and guardianship, family trusts, superannuation, health directives and tax implications for beneficiaries of your estate. So, it is important to make an Estate Plan which guarantees that all your assets are dealt with according to your wishes and that your beneficiaries are not left to deal with any legal issues after your death.
Estate & Succession Planning Can Give You Peace Of Mind
Considering your own sickness or mortality can of course be frightening. If you are not able to make decisions for yourself due to ill health you will not be able to plan for the transfer of your assets. In these circumstances, it is easy to understand why you would benefit from having dealt with Estate Planning when you were healthy. Organising your Estate Plan with a wills and estates lawyer while you are still relatively young and healthy will give you a sense of security. You will know that if you fall ill, the necessary plans are in place to ensure that your assets and health issues can be effectively dealt with.
Wills, Family Trusts & Superannuation
It is important to ensure that your will is kept updated. This will make it easy to determine who is to receive your assets and property when you pass away. It will also clarify other important factors such as the guardianship of your children. Some people will have assets organised in structures such as family trusts. Unfortunately, a will is not necessarily effective in transferring assets from these structures. It is important to be sure that an effective plan is in place to deal with such a scenario. Superannuation can represent a large proportion of your wealth. So, it is important to ensure that such benefits are given to the beneficiaries you choose. Gifts of superannuation can pre-empt the potential for inheritance claims from other family members.
Power Of Attorney, Power Of Guardianship & Health Considerations
It is essential to put in place an effective and enduring power of attorney. An enduring power of attorney allows you to appoint legal representatives to act for you in all financial matters. This power endures even if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself. An enduring power of guardianship allows you to authorise someone to make personal, lifestyle and treatment decisions when you are no longer able to do so. A specific health directive lets you make decisions now about the treatment you might want in the future giving you the peace of mind that your decisions will be understood by the healthcare professionals who will treat you. If you are uncertain how to proceed with this delicate matter, you can always rely on the Australian government as the first port of call for advice on wills and estate planning.