When you think of estate planning, "do it another day" would probably be one of your first thoughts. However, when you pass away, estate planning is the only surefire way to know how your wealth and investments will be properly distributed to the people you care about. Having the right strategy and management is essential in developing an effective plan for you and your loved ones.
Some people may think that this means just creating a Will. In reality it is only one of many tools that are used towards an overall strategy (we will talk about other considerations later). The main take away here is that estate planning is an informed strategy that serves to protect your various assets and its proper distribution in the event of your death.
At Maurice Blackburn, we understand the nuances and attention to detail required for every estate plan. We focus on helping you plan on a personal level, so you can express your wishes in the best way possible and give you peace of mind.
Generally, a complete estate plan involves:
- looking at your assets, investments and estate holistically
- nominating decision makers to act on your behalf
- ensuring that the ownership of your assets is passed on to the correct beneficiaries
- ensuring that your assets are protected in case a beneficiary has legal problems
- reducing tax payable to an absolute minimum
- creating a Will (legally binding) and a Statement of Wishes (morally binding).
What estate planning lawyers can do for you
Estate planning is more than just a part of your financial plan. It’s a long-term strategy that reduces stress on your family and stops any second guessing in its tracks.
Here at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, we'll help you create an estate plan that is financially and legally sound, and emotionally fulfilling. We're here to help from the planning of your estate, through to the time when your Will needs to be executed.
Some considerations for planning your estate
To protect you and your family completely, there are a few different things you need to consider. A Will is one of them, but there are other equally important considerations you'll want think about depending on your circumstances. Preparing for them is the key to reducing stress on your family and ensuring your wishes are fulfilled.
Your Will is a legal document, and while it's easy to make a Will, it’s best to have it drafted by a lawyer. This way you’ll be able get it right and minimise any chances of disputes surrounding your Will.
Powers of attorney
Giving someone power of attorney means they can legally act on your behalf, so it is something to be taken very seriously. You will need to choose someone you trust. Make sure you get legal advice before giving anybody power of attorney.
A testamentary trust is a trust created by your Will and comes into effect after your death. It gives you the ability to hold assets as part of your Will, to be paid to whomever you choose. This could be something like your superannuation balance, or even your whole estate.
When the person who is in charge of your estate is executing your Will, there are several tax implications involved. This can involve superannuation issues, tax returns, and money payable from trusts. Working with a lawyer means you can identify these issues well in advance.
What other vital documents do I need?
Most people have thought of a Will, and it's a vital document to ensure your wishes are upheld if you pass away. However, depending on your situation, there are other documents you need to obtain so that your loved ones are not left guessing as to your wishes and directions if something ever happens to you. This is where we can help you - our experienced estate planning lawyers are always ready to lend a hand. Should you ever have any questions, contact us today.
Get started, plan your estate today
Book your consultation with an expert lawyer to create five vital documents.
- A standard Will
- Enduring Power of Attorney
- Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker
- Advance Care Directive
- Statement of Wishes