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Estate Planning

estateplanning.jpgIt’s intrinsically human to avoid thinking in advance about the inevitability of death.  But death, like taxes is the only certainty in life.  Perhaps some people don’t care about what happens to their material wealth after passing.  After all, they wont be around.  But it’s a given that most of us do care what happens to our loved ones in the event of our demise – premature or otherwise.

Put simply, estate planning involves making plans for the transfer of your estate after death. Your estate is all the property that you own. It can include cash, clothes, jewellery, cars, houses, land, retirement, investment and savings accounts, etc. Estate planning usually has several objectives and goals. They include:

  • Making sure most of the estate is transferred to your beneficiaries

  • Paying the least amount of taxes on your estate

  • Assigning guardians for minor children, if any

 

Some important terms to know for estate planning purposes include: 

Wills: A will is a legal document that lays out the fate of your property after your death. It states who receives your property and in what amounts.     

Trusts: A trust is an arrangement where you entrust property to one person or an organisation. The person or trustee is taxed with managing the property on behalf of your beneficiary or beneficiaries. Trusts aren't just for the wealthy.  Trusts are legal mechanisms that let you put conditions on how and when your assets will be distributed upon your death. They also allow you to reduce your estate and gift taxes and to distribute assets to your heirs without the cost, delay and publicity of probate court, which administers wills. Some also offer greater protection of your assets from creditors and lawsuits.

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA): Enduring power of attorney gives a person or organisation the legal power to handle your affairs when you're unable to do so.

Estate planning is something that should be done when a person is legally competent, which means that the person must be of sound mind and at least 18 years old. It should also be done when the owner of the estate is in good health and free from emotional stress.

No matter what your net worth, it’s important to have a basic estate plan in place.  Such a plan ensures that your family and financial goals are met after you die.  These days, estate planning is more than deciding who will benefit from your assets when you die. In today’s world of modern family structures and legislative changes, a more thorough approach is called for.

The aim of Estate Planning is to minimise emotional and financial hardship for the people you care about. An up-to-date will is still the cornerstone of a good estate plan and depending on your circumstances, a trust may be necessary to achieve the right level of planning and protection. You should also have enduring powers of attorney to provide for your personal care and welfare, as well as the ongoing management of your assets and financial arrangements if you should become incapacitated.

A thorough estate planning exercise needn't be costly or complicated, but it is important to get the right advice from the start.  As part of your financial plan Iconic Financial can recommend experienced and knowledgeable partners to assist you with your estate planning.

No Obligation Consultation at Our Expense

Contact us now you have nothing to lose.  We offer a no obligation meeting at our expense.  It wont cost you anything to find out how estate planning will benefit you.  Contact us today and give yourself peace of mind that the future is well taken care of.