What is estate planning?

Estate planning involves developing a plan to deal with your assets after you die which shutterstock_1123004039covers taxation, division of assets, control and family businesses and asset protection.

What is estate?

Estate can include anything from your car, home, bank accounts, investments, personal possessions and other things such as businesses, life insurance policies, superannuation, control of trusts, directorships, debts and guarantees. Estate planning controls how those things are given to people or organisations when you pass away. An estate plan controls who you want to give something to, what you want them to receive and when you want them to receive it, with the least amount paid in taxes.

Things to consider

A key part of estate planning is preparing a will, but this isn’t the only part that you need to consider. An estate plan will look at other things such as;

  • Who receives your superannuation benefits when you die
  • Creation of testamentary trust (to protect asset distribution to your beneficiaries)
  • Powers of attorney
  • Power of guardianship
  • Anticipatory direction or advance health directive (instructions on your wishes regarding medical treatment if you’re unable to communicate)

Starting the process

The main three steps you can take to start estate planning are;

  • Identify the assets that you own or control (i.e snapshot financial position)
  • Identify risks
  • Articulate a plan

Estate planning is suitable for everyone, it doesn’t matter how old you are or how much you own, it’s still a good idea to have one if you want to have control of how your assets are distributed after you pass away.

Estate planning, in a traditional sense, is more appropriate where situations become more complicated.

Do you have any questions about estate planning? Call us on 1300 023 782 for a no obligation discussion as to your options.