Estate Planning is an overarching term which is used to describe the steps and strategies that you put in place to structure your affairs during your lifetime to account for illness or disability which may affect your income, loss of legal capacity, health decisions, the management of your affairs leading up to death and how your Estate is to be distributed or dealt with upon death.
Typically, Estate Planning will involve a number of different components, which may include but are not limited to the following:
- A Total or Permanent Disability insurance;
- Income protection insurance;
- Life insurance;
- Whether you should establish a Family Discretionary Trust or some other form of entity to operate a business or hold investments;
- Superannuation arrangements including decisions whether you would benefit from a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund or you would prefer an industry or retail managed superannuation fund;
- Using a Non-Binding Death Benefit Nomination or a Binding Death Benefit Nomination to deal with your superannuation benefits in the event of death;
- Making an Enduring Power of Attorney;
- Executing an Advance Health Directive;
- Importantly, executing a Will and deciding whether that Will should include Testamentary Discretionary Trusts;
- How you and your partner hold real estate and other property.
As you can see, there is a wide range of different factors that need to be considered when establishing the best estate plan for your circumstances.
Typically, people don’t worry about these types of issues early in their life. We find that people think about estate plans when they have had their family and the children are getting close to leaving home. However, there is no time like the present to consider the benefits of a well thought out comprehensive estate plan.
Generally, it can be useful to consult with a Financial Planner before talking to your Lawyer about Estate Planning matters. In some instances, particularly if there is a family business involved, your Accountants may also need to be involved in that process. He point that needs to be made is that it is best that your legal, financial, business and tax advisors all have something to contribute to the best Estate Plan for your circumstances.
If we can help you in relation to any of all Estate Planning issues, please feel free to contact us.