At its most basic, estate planning is about creating a Will. A Will is a legal document that helps you specify how you would like your assets distributed once you have gone. Without a Will you are known to die 'intestate' and the process to distribute your assets will take longer and be more complex. Although a Will can be contested, it increases the chances that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.
While a Will is certainly a good place to start, estate planning is about so much more than just a Will. Your super, for example, is not covered by your Will. You can also put plans in place that allow others to make decisions on your behalf – both lifestyle and financial either for a period of time or indefinitely in the event of sickness and ill health.
Other issues to consider
Along with making a valid Will, there are several other estate planning issues to consider, including:
- a Power of Attorney that enables you to appoint an individual (or trustee) to deal with your affairs if you become incapable of making your own decisions
- an Advance Health Directive or Medical Power of Attorney that allows others to make lifestyle decisions on your behalf (about your health or treatment for example) if you become incapable of communicating those instructions
- instructions about how to deal with assets that are held in trusts and companies that are not covered by your estate
- a binding or non-binding death benefit nomination in your super that allows you to nominate the recipient of your super
- a charitable giving program whether it be a one-off donation, setting up a charitable trust or private ancillary fund (PAF).
To learn more about estate planning, take a look at our range of helpful guides and tools.
How we can help you
At Shadforth we can help you to plan your estate properly. We will work with estate planning specialists to ensure that your wishes are met, and that the efficient transfer of your wealth to the next generation is completed. So please contact us today and let's discuss how we can help you.