Estate Planning involves managing the transition of wealth between generations. This may require setting up Wills, Powers of Attorney, and possibly Testamentary Trusts in order to ensure your assets are dealt with in accordance with your wishes.
It is therefore important to have a considered and comprehensive estate plan to ensure that all assets are transferred according to your wishes in the most effective and efficient manner.
Outlined below are some factors to consider when developing your estate plan.
What is a Will?
Your Will is a legal document that directs how your estate assets are to be distributed amongst your nominated beneficiaries. You are required to nominate an Executor in your Will. The Executor has the duty of carrying out your wishes in your Will and is granted power to administer the estate.
What is a Power of Attorney?
Granting a Power of Attorney means that you legally appoint a person or organisation to make decisions, sign documents and act on your behalf in various matters. A Power of Attorney generally ceases when you suffer a loss of mental capacity. This can be overcome by using an Enduring Power of Attorney which does not cease upon loss of mental capacity.
An Enduring Power of Guardianship provides the power to make personal and lifestyle decisions for you should you lose mental capacity. It is important to note different states have different ways of dealing with medical and lifestyle decisions for a person mentally incapacitated.
What is a Binding Death Nomination?
Your superannuation does not form part of your estate and therefore cannot be disposed of via a Will. A Binding Death Nomination is a written declaration to the trustee of your superannuation fund outlining who you wish to be the beneficiary for your superannuation entitlements in the event of your death.
What is a Testamentary Trust?
A Testamentary Trust is a trust created pursuant to your Will. Testamentary Trusts may assist to distribute your estate to your beneficiaries in a more tax-effective manner and may reduce the likelihood of a successful challenge to your Will.
Estate planning is a core component of your broader financial planning needs and should be reviewed on a regular basis.
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