Why is Estate Planning important?
A recurrence of life-changing incidents within a circle of contacts often brings the subject of Estate Planning back into focus. This is an area that each of us who has dependants, particularly financial dependants, owe it to them to ensure that what is being provided for their ongoing well-being is both secured for them and delivered in as timely a manner as possible. Death, or profound disability are two such events that can leave a family wanting.
What is it?
It has been said that Estate Planning is the process by which you try to provide for your dependants so that: the right amount, goes to the right people, at the right time! Some of the issues that need to be considered, include –
- Enduring Power of Attorney (financial; and health directive)
- Will (Last Will and Testament)
- Personal Risk Insurance
- Register of important documents
- Financial records
- Funeral arrangements.
Estate Planning is a valuable expression of your love and concern for those who will be left behind. Where any of the above, important elements are inadequately prepared or tended, there can be an added burden on your financial dependants over and above the emotional stress they experience with the serious injury or demise of their main provider. This concern is well dealt with in a recent blog post by an Estate Planning legal firm.
Not only should such documents/ records exist, their whereabouts should be known to at least a couple of people (including any nominated executors, significant dependant beneficiaries, and/ or trustees – and probably your financial advisers: accountant, financial planner etc).
Where investments are involved, particularly those that could bring a capital gains tax liability to bear, records as to the purchase costs and any major repair or renovation costs should be kept with financial records.
In a register of important documents, refer to the nature of the document, what its significance is, details of any investment issues involved, location of documents and any comments that you consider pertinent to the matter.
(For further reading – in somewhat more detail – consider reading a selection of the Estate Planning series of articles in our website Library: starting with ‘Estate Planning Outlined‘, all of the articles are linked from the foot of each article in the 13-part series.)
How to get your Estate Planning under way!
Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd has advisers experienced in this important area and who are available to work with you to ensure that your intended beneficiaries are appropriately cared for: to discuss these matters further with us, call 07-34213456 or utilise the contact us facility on our website. Your preparation of instructions for the estate planning lawyer will be made much easier with our structured process – and it will save you money in the process.
We thank McKays Solicitors for allowing us to base our article on this topic on material found in their website. Originally posted in January 2010, the article has been occasionally updates/ refreshed, most recently in Jul;y 2019.