What is Estate Planning?
Often people consider having a Will to be the same as Estate Planning. However, this is not always the case. Estate Planning is a multi-faceted and often multi-disciplinary process involving a full review and management of your personal, family and business affairs. Estate Planning can be undertaken whilst you are alive and even continue after you pass away.
Good Estate Planning can and should involve a Will, Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship and much more. A good Estate Plan should include considerations to your:
- Current and future lifestyle needs
- Retirement plans
- Business affairs
- Tax considerations and implications
- Future critical events
- Health issues and family conflicts
- The way your property ought to be distributed and to whom
At Fourtree Lawyers, we have the experience and expertise to appreciate your personal circumstances fully and advise you on a well-considered estate plan tailored to your individual needs.
What is involved in Preparing an Estate Plan?
Estate Planning can involve three common steps;
- Identifying your property and assets and those in your broader estate, such as those owned jointly or owned by trusts, companies, superannuation or insurance.
- Identifying risks you wish to avoid while alive and after you pass away, including, for example, your health concerns or a possible divorce or bankruptcy of either yourself or your beneficiary.
- Working with us as your solicitors, financial planner, and accountant to design and execute an individual plan that includes your assets, considers future needs, minimises your exposure to risks, tax minimisation, and issues around succession.
As you can see, each of the above steps can and should involve several experts such as solicitors, accountants and financial planners who have the requisite qualifications and expertise to work together in a coordinated fashion to tailor your Estate Plan.
A well-considered plan should include components (including legal documents) coordinated with your individual needs regarding investment, retirement (including health and medical considerations), and wealth accumulation strategies.
Why would I need an Estate Plan?
In answering this question, we invite you to consider the below questions
- Do you know when you will retire and what levels of wealth and financial security you will need to maintain your desired levels of lifestyle when you retire?
- How would your family be impacted by your sudden passing?
- Do you have in place a legal document that authorises someone you trust to make financial, legal, health and medical decisions on your behalf if for any reason you are unable, or you lose the mental capacity to make such decisions for yourself?
- Do you currently have a legal document that passes control of your Trusts to someone upon your death, knowing that Trust assets do not become part of your deceased estate?
- Have you provided adequately for your family in your current Will?
- Have you considered the implications of you or your spouse remarrying after you or your spouse pass away?
- Do you have good relationships with all your children and their spouses?
- How stable are your children and spouse (in terms of bankruptcy, crime, mental health, drug addictions)?
- Does your spouse and or children have current Wills, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianships in place?
- Are you and your family underinsured or adequately insured?
- If you have a blended family, are you confident that your spouse will honour your wishes to provide for both sets of children upon your passing?
We are here to help
Our solicitors specialise in Wills & Estates matters throughout the Central Coast, the Hunter Region and Sydney. We have the experience and expertise to guide you through the process from beginning to end to ensure your peace of mind.
If you would like assistance with your Wills & Estates Planning or wish to discuss a matter of concern to you, contact one of our Wills & Estates specialists on 1300 529 444 or fill in our contact form to arrange a free conference with a solicitor today. Contact us now! 24-hour legal advice 7 days a week
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