What is an estate plan?
An estate plan is the process of arranging your affairs in a way that:
- suits your needs now;
- protects you should you ever lose the ability to make your own decisions; and
- ensures your assets will pass smoothly to your family and friends in the event you pass away.
So, What Is The Process Involved In An Estate Plan?
Step 1 – Complete our Estate Planning Questionnaire
This questionnaire informs you about the issues you need to consider and decide on.
We ask that clients complete the questionnaire prior to any meeting because some decisions cannot be made straight away and some will require consultation with your partner, other family members or close friends.
Step 2 – Initial Meeting
Next we meet with you to discuss your affairs and answer any questions you have from completing the questionnaire.
We then work out an estate plan that is suitable for you in terms of your needs, time frame and budget.
We may also coordinate with your other advisors such as commercial or tax lawyers, accountants or financial planners to maximise the effectiveness of various mechanisms available.
Step 3 – Document Preparation
The following documents may then be prepared as part of your estate plan:
The creation of Testamentary Trusts in your Will or advice about corporate entity structuring (ie. companies, businesses, partnerships or trusts) and the impact if you were unable to make decisions or pass away may also be required.
Step 4 – Execution & Safe Storage
The last step is to arrange for all documents to be executed.
The original documents are then kept by Martens Legal for safe keeping, and a copy is sent to the client.
Okay, but do I need an estate plan?
The short answer is YES – everyone needs one.
It is not just for wealthy people. In fact, an effective estate plan often means more to families with modest assets because they can afford to lose the least.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not just for retired people. Unfortunately, we cannot predict how long we will live, and illness and accidents happen to people of all ages.
When should I review my estate plan?
At Martens Legal we recommend that our clients review their estate plan every 3 years.
In addition, you should think about a review if any of the following was to occur:
- You marry or enter into a de facto relationship
- You have children or grandchildren
- A family member or friend that is named in your documents passes away
- A change to a relationship occurs that means you no longer wish to include that person in your estate plan
- Your financial circumstances change
- You separate from your wife / husband / de facto partner
- You divorce
Want to know more?
Please also visit our website to check out our fees guide.
The information contained on this site is for general guidance only. No person should act or refrain from acting on the basis of such information. Appropriate professional advice should be sought based upon your particular circumstances.