The end of financial year is only a couple of weeks away and while you may be getting together all of your pay slips, bank interest details and share dividend statements together for your accountant, it might be a good time to also create or review your estate plan.
What is an estate plan?
An estate plan is more than just a Will. It is a process of analysing your assets, liabilities, family structures and getting to know you and your wishes so that we can tailor the following documents to best protect your assets, your family and ensure your wishes are clearly expressed:
- Will – an essential tool in ensuring that your property and assets will be divided in accordance with your wishes and provides clear instructions which is likely to make the process a lot easier for your loved ones upon your death
- Testamentary Trusts – created by your Will which commence upon your death and provides a hold on your assets so that an appointed Trustee can eventually distribute the assets to beneficiaries at such time as your trust provides (eg: upon the age of 21 years, etc);
- Statement of Wishes – a supplementary document to your Will and whilst not legally binding, provides further information to your executor/s as to the administration of your estate;
- Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial and Personal) and Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker – allows for someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf when you no longer have capacity; and
- Advanced Care Directive – supplementary to your Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker and provides your Medical Decision Maker with a record of your wishes regarding your treatment.
Why do I need this?
Estate planning allows you to have control over how your estate, assets and affairs will be dealt with when you die or, when you become incapacitated. By taking the time now to work through this process, you can put in place a plan so that your loved ones do not have to worry in the future.
What if I already have something in place?
You may already have some of the above documents in place, however end of financial year is a good time to get those documents out and read through them carefully to ensure that they still reflect your wishes. If your personal or financial circumstances have changed, it may be necessary to update these documents. For example, the following events are triggers where a new Will should be considered:
- Marriage or entering de facto relationship;
- The breakdown of a relationship;
- The death of a loved one;
- Starting a family;
- Buying or selling a home;
- Retirement; or
- Health concerns.
How can Nevett Ford help?
End of financial year is just around the corner so there is no doubt that the subject of tax is already on your mind. By working with our Wills and Estates Team, we can create an estate plan to not only protect your assets, your family and your wishes, we work with you in regards to tax planning so that tax implications in the future are minimised. For more information please contact us on 03 9614 7111 or email at email@example.com.