Estate Planning Considerations
Estate Planning is beneficial for everyone. The more complicated your personal and financial affairs, the more important it is to have an estate plan. Planning for the future becomes more important at certain times in your life, such as:
• getting married, living with a partner, separating or getting divorced;
• having children including step-children;
• moving house, moving interstate or overseas,
• buying real estate or other valuable assets;
• family separation involving other family members;
• buying or selling or operating a business;
• setting up a family trust or company; or
• if you have family members with special needs or children who are vulnerable.
Who benefits from estate planning?
You spend a large part of your life working to earn money to look after yourself, to provide for your family and to save for their future. Given the focus that is placed on creating wealth while you are alive, it seems logical to want some control over what happens to these assets once you die.
Estate Planning is beneficial for everyone The more complicated your personal and financial affairs, the more important it is to have an estate plan. Planning for the future becomes more important at certain times in your life, such as: getting married, living with a partner, separating or getting divorced, having children including step-children, moving house, moving interstate or overseas, buying real estate or other valuable assets, family separation involving other family members, buying or selling or operating a business, setting up family trust or company, or if you have family members with special needs or children who are vulnerable.
Estate Planning is about wealth succession – a way to help protect the wealth you have built over your lifetime, so that it is distributed according to your wishes, following your death.
Estate Planning is about giving you that control to make sure that:
the people you care about are looked after once you are gone, and your assets are passed to the people you want to receive them.
What’s involved in estate planning?
There are three main tools that can help you with your succession planning.
A Will | Powers of Attorney | Superannuation nominations
Making a Will
A Will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets and possessions distributed upon your death. It can cover a range of special requests including providing for children, guardianship, assets that do not form part of your estate or your charitable objectives.
Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document allowing you to appoint someone to act on your behalf. When in force, the signature of the person you appoint as your Power of Attorney has the same legal force as your own.
There are different Powers of Attorney, each with a different purpose, whether it be to advise on medical or financial issues, or enacted when you are mentally capable or incapable.
Your superannuation savings do not form part of the assets that are distributed via your Will. This is a crucial consideration for the succession of your wealth, because if it is structured correctly, your super savings can be received tax free when they are passed on to your beneficiaries. Correspondingly, if your preferences for your super savings are not structured correctly, the consequences for your savings can be damaging. Superannuation savings paid to someone other than your spouse, your child, or someone who is financially dependent on you, can be taxed up to 31.5 percent.
Children are the most important consideration for your Will
Without question, the most important consideration when preparing your Will is your children, in particular, dependent children.
Your Will should detail who you want to take care of your children in the event of your death, as well as how you want them to be cared for. Your Will should include instructions for the appointment of a guardian who can legally act on behalf of your children, as well as specific instructions for their upbringing.
This can prevent unnecessary family feuds in the future, especially in the case of blended families and where both parents pass away at the same time.
Another consideration where minor children are involved is tax management. Children under the age of 18 can be required to pay penalty tax rates of up to 66 percent on the income earned on investments if your Will is not structured correctly.
How do you get started?
Estate planning is a complex area that requires careful consideration. You will need the expertise of a solicitor and accountant, in conjunction with the guidance of a financial planner.
Estate planning is an important part of managing your financial affairs. It will ensure that your wishes are carried out once you are gone and help to protect the financial future of your family.
At Intergenerational Wealth, we provide you with estate planning considerations, and in conjunction with your solicitor or our professional networks, we will create an estate plan to meet your objectives.