Estate Planning: The Basics

Simply put, estate planning involves the arrangements you make while you’re alive for dealing with the money, property and other assets and liabilities you leave behind when you die. Australian law decides what becomes of your things if you don’t. While its provisions are generally favorable, you really want to take control of asset distribution yourself.

This is most often done through a will. While a lawyer is usually involved in creating a will, it should generally do the following things:

Name an executor. That is, put someone in charge of carrying it out.

Take into account tax laws. With a lawyer’s help, you can make sure your choices have as few negative tax implications for beneficiaries as possible.

Protect your assets from being squandered. If a person inheriting can’t be completely trusted, there are provisions and instruments that can help out.

Clearly spell out who gets what. Companies and trusts that aren’t in your name may not be part of your estate in some Australians states, so get your ducks in a row before creating a will.

Deal with your superannuation. It may or may not be paid into your estate, and you might like to make a Binding Death Nomination instead.

Consider family relationships. If your will doesn’t provide for your spouse, children or other dependents, it could more easily be challenged in court.

And that’s not all. Every aspect of your financial and legal life should be reduced to writing in a will to make sure that you’re still in charge of your assets even when you’ve no longer with us. That’s what estate planning is all about. We can help take the stress away from organizing your finances. Give our team a call today and one of our advisors will be happy to help run through your options.

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