A Guide To Effective Estate Planning
27 Nov 2019
Estate planning can be an uncomfortable process for many people. While it’s never pleasant to contemplate what will happen when you pass on, it’s important to have things in order if you want to ensure that your loved ones are looked after and your wishes are respected.
Many people also incorrectly assume that estate planning is only a concern of the wealthy. The truth of the matter is that if you have any kind of assets - like a home, properties, art or vehicles - then you need to have a plan for what will happen to them when you’re gone.
WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING?
Estate planning gives you the opportunity to put a strategy in place in order to cover all the financial assets accumulated during your life. Its objective is to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes in the most efficient and tax-effective manner when you die.
While it is true that you must have a Will that clearly states how you want your assets to be distributed, estate planning goes beyond a single document and gives you the advantage of addressing every detail of your individual situation.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Estate planning lets you formulate a strategy that is specific to your financial needs, commitments and situation. You will also be saving your family or dependants from the additional stress and discomfort of having to deal with sorting out your financial affairs while grieving.
SEEKING ADVICE WITH AR ADVISORS
Estate planning delivers many benefits, but it’s normal to feel uncertain and even a little apprehensive about what needs to be done.
At AR Advisors, we ensure we’re with you every step of the way. From when you first make contact, to years down the track. Throughout it all, we will help to facilitate this process, working closely with you to put a plan in place for the present and future.
Our aim is to ensure we know your current situation better than anyone else, painting a picture of your assets and delving into the history of your family tree. Your entities will be mapped out to understand who is in control of these (i.e. trustees, appointors and guardians) and how this looks moving forward.
When engaging an estate planning lawyer, we will be there to bring them up to speed and help facilitate discussions and strategies towards your best interests.
We aim to ask thought provoking questions to ensure that whatever concerns may arise throughout this process are addressed with appropriate resolutions.
We will provide you with the advice you need in order to make the best possible decisions through your estate planning journey.
ELEMENTS OF YOUR ESTATE PLAN
AR Advisors will guide you through the elements of estate planning resulting in the following documents:
A properly drafted will can help ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes in an efficient manner. This helps to avoid any unnecessary costs or delay.
Making Plans For Your Superannuation
We encourage you to review your will every three years, as its quite possible you have reached new milestones throughout this time – e.g. marriage, children, or new business, among others.
For a lot of people, their super represents a substantial part of their total wealth. However, super (and any life insurance held in super) doesn't automatically become part of your will unless specified.
Enduring A Power Of Attorney
At AR Advisors, we ensure that your super is addressed when planning your will, so your money ends up in the hands of the people it was intended for.
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorizes someone you trust to represent or act on behalf of your financial affairs.
AR Advisors will work closely with you to determine who is best fit for this role and through which type of Power of Attorney.
Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of Power of Attorney:
- A General Power of Attorney that will cease to be valid when you lose mental capacity.
- An Enduring Power of Attorney that will continue to operate if you lose mental capacity.
Enduring A Power of Guardianship
An Enduring Power of Guardianship is a legal document that authorizes a person of your choice to make decisions based on lifestyle and health, without having to apply for special administration. You can have more than one guardian, though they must agree on the decisions made on your behalf when you are incapable to do so yourself.
Your Power of Guardianship is unable to make any decisions surrounding your financial affairs.
Advanced Health Directive
An Advance Health Directive (AHD) is a legal document to help people with preconceived medical issues to make decisions about what they would like to do in the event of becoming sick or injured.
As a result, your AHD is the document that tells people what to do when you’re unable to communicate these wishes on your own accord.
Funding An Estate Planning Gap With Insurance
If you have a financially dependent family that will struggle to cover expenses like a mortgage and living costs in the event of your death, taking out life insurance can be advisable. Though this is not something we provide advice on, AR Advisors can point you in the right direction to get further support in deciding what your policy options are and how much cover you may need.
We’re Here To Help
At AR Advisors we understand that estate planning is a unique situation. Unlike other financial decisions, it involves a lot of emotions and can be a very complex and detailed process. We can help provide the understanding and guidance needed to make the right decisions for you, your loved ones and your family.
If you want to make sure that everyone will be looked after and your wishes respected once you pass on, get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help with your estate planning.
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