Part of my role includes discussing the topic of Estate Planning. Although it is a topic that no-one likes to discuss, it is a topic that nobody can avoid. What I find fascinating, is that many people either don’t have a Will, have a misguided notion as to what happens to their assets after they die, or don’t know what assets form part of their estate.
Having celebrated my one year wedding anniversary, I realised I’d neglected to update my Will. I’m now in the process of updating my Will but it made me realise the intricacies of having a solid estate plan.
Estate Planning is ensuring “the right assets go to the right people at the right time” so it is important to have an Estate Plan in place.
- Consider the parent who has two children, one of which they haven’t spoken to in over 20 years.
- Consider the couple who have separated/divorced but don’t realise their ex-spouse could inherit everything.
- Consider the parents losing their Age Pension because they’ve inherited their child’s estate and pushed them over the Centrelink Income & Assets Test?
- Consider the blended family where the children from the first relationship receive nothing because the second partner changed their Will.
Did you know? A marriage voids a Will but divorce does not?
Did you know? If you die without a Will, State Legislation dictates a ‘formula’ as to who receives what portion of your estate. This means you lose control of the process and people you wish to benefit from your estate may miss out or vice versa.
Issues and questions to consider:
- Do you have a current and up-to-date Will?
- Do people know where your Will is kept?
- Who would you like to benefit from your estate and more importantly, who would you exclude from your estate?
- What assets are included in your estate?
- Have you considered whether you need a testamentary trust for your loved ones
Although I am not a lawyer, I can assist you with these questions and help point you in the right direction. If you would like more information or would like to discuss these issues in more detail, please feel free to call me.