When was the last time you sat down and thought about your estate and how it might be distributed (help those you love) when the time comes?
We understand that for many people, thinking about their estate is daunting and emotional. However, it is important to understand and ensure that your assets – the things that you have worked hard to attain – are left to the people you want to have them. It is important that you ensure your legacy is able to be provided efficiently for those that you love and it is important that you understand any tax implications too. Effective planning ensures that you leave your financial house in order and it happens now, today, while you are in a place of wellness and stability. We don't offer legal advice (we do know great lawyers though that can help), we are here to help you understand the impact and importance that your assets (legacy) can have and work with you to make the most of them!
The truth is that life is unpredictable and you do not know when things might change. It is for this reason that we believe it is never too early to plan for a safe tomorrow. The easiest way to do this is with a Will. From the day someone turns 18 having a Will, will ensure that no matter what happens their wishes are heard.
Why 18? Well, chances are an 18-year-old will have a superannuation fund with an amount of life insurance in it, and this will need to be allocated as well as any personal items or sentimental pieces. Regardless of age, we all have items that if the worst was to happen we would want to go to those closest to us. Without a Will, all belongings and possessions including Assets will be distributed by a public trustee – a stranger – who doesn't know you or what you want. Why leave it to chance, when you are only YOUR WILL away from ensuring what you want happens. To ensure you are protected and ready for the future no matter what happens to consider the following and start today:
1. Do you have a valid Will that is regularly reviewed? When making a Will, consider who you would like to act as your Executor. Make sure the person in this role knows something about your financial position and what your wishes are.
2. Do you have children under 18 who need a nominated guardian? Consider who would be best to take care of your children.
3. Do you have children from a previous relationship? In most cases, these children need to be provided for in order to reduce the risk of an estate being contested.
4. Have you considered an enduring Power of Attorney, which lets someone act on your behalf if you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself? If you don't have one in place, in the unfortunate event of not having the "capacity" to maintain your affairs, control of your assets may pass to a government body such as The Office of the Protective Commissioner.
5. And don't forget your Super! Binding nominations are effective choices as to which beneficiaries receive your superannuation entitlements and in what proportions. Please note that if these nominations are not kept up-to-date, you could find your super money is distributed in the way you had not preferred. Your superannuation assets don't always automatically fall into your estate
6. Have you considered Testamentary Trusts? These trusts are formed on the death of a person if they have specified for this to happen in their Will. The main benefits of testamentary trusts are their ability to protect assets and to reduce tax paid by beneficiaries from income earned from the inheritance.
Wills will range from simple in nature to complex, depending on the Asset level and wishes of the individual. Regardless, it is important to take the time to consider what you want, speak with a professional and then plan how you would like your Estate distributed as it represents your lifetime of effort. If you are ready to secure how your future legacy will serve the ones you love, we are happy to help at any time with an obligation free assessment of your Estate and Will. Or if you would just like to chat over a cuppa about the options you have simply call us today or book here!