The importance of Estate Planning

Estate planning is more than just having a will. It is about ensuring that a person’s estate is passed on to their beneficiaries in the most tax-effective and financially efficient way possible when they are gone. 

Getting early advice on setting up an estate plan can help you to achieve peace of mind in knowing that your wealth will be passed in the most tax-effective way and ensure it is done according to your wishes, often a problem with a simple will.

An estate plan maximises your assets and takes into account other non-financial matters such as the care of dependent children, medical treatment and accommodation if you are incapacitated. It also considers your charitable, community and cultural requirements.

If you die without a will, your assets are distributed by following a standard statutory formula and it is likely that distribution will not play out the way you would have liked.
For those who do have a will, it may only cover what to do with your personally owned assets and other considerations like superannuation, trusts and business assets may have been left out.

In developing an effective action plan for dealing with your estate, the following considerations should be made:

  • How will your business wealth be dealt with?
  • How should your superannuation be dealt with after your death?
  • Who is to receive your gifts and legacies and when should they be given?
  • Who will be appointed executors of your will?
  • Who will control your non-estate wealth holding entities including family trusts?

An estate plan should balance life-time enjoyment of your assets with preservation of those assets for your family after your passing.

It should be cost effective, simple to understand and operate and be revised regularly.

An estate plan is something that should be considered, no matter how young or old you are.