Estate planning is about more than just preparing a valid Will. It’s about making sure your family is provided for and that your assets go where you want them to after you die.
A good estate plan can:
- ensure the ownership and control of your assets passes to your intended beneficiaries in the right proportions
- minimise the tax impact on your estate and beneficiaries
- ensure your estate is administered in a cost efficient and timely manner
- protect assets if a beneficiary is involved in any legal difficulties (for example, bankruptcy or divorce) or under a legal disability. Essentially, a good estate plan can provide you with peace of mind and help avoid potential complications for your beneficiaries.
Working out what you need
Firstly, have you considered whether you’ve accumulated enough assets to provide for your family and pay off debts if you die? If you think there’s a shortfall, your financial adviser will be able to suggest some ways for you to make up the shortfall. Have you also thought about who will inherit which
assets and in what proportions? If you’re sick or injured and unable to control your investments, have you chosen someone to manage your affairs for you?
You should review your estate planning needs on a regular basis and particularly when an important event occurs such as:
- getting married
- getting divorced
- the birth of a child
- the death of a relative you have provided for
- starting work
- changing jobs
Each of these events can be a life-changing experience for you and your family and should prompt you to think about your estate planning needs and objectives. Estate planning is an important part of your overall financial plan and you shouldn’t leave it until it’s too late.
An estate planning checklist:
- Do you have a valid Will?
- Have you reviewed/updated it since the last significant event in your life?
- Have you disposed of or purchased a major asset?
- Does your Will protect your assets to ensure they are not inappropriately diminished?
- Do you know how much money your family would need if you died today?
- Do you have a funding strategy in place?
- Are you and your family financially protected if you were to suffer a serious illness/injury?
- Are you and your family financially protected if you were to become totally andpermanently disabled?
- Do you know how much money you and your family would need if you were unable to work, or you suffered a serious illness/injury?
- Is your income protected?
- Are the protection measures you have in place sufficient for your family’s needs?
- Have you appointed someone to look after your affairs if you die or become incapacitated?
- If you’re a business owner, have you considered exit strategies from your business?
- If you’re a business owner, have you planned for the future of your business after you die?
If you answer ‘No’ to any of these questions, it’s possible you have a gap in your estate planning needs
To find out more, or to make an appointment, simply call Maximum Wealth Strategies on 02 60562229 or contact us.