WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING?
Estate planning 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.
In most cases, estate planning is not as simple as signing a will. This is because many people control assets but do not legally own them. For example, assets held in trusts, companies and superannuation.
Therefore, a properly prepared estate plan will deal with all assets you own and control.
SO, WHAT ARE THE TOP TERMS?
Advance Health Directive
An advance health directive is a legal document that sets out your instructions about future medical decisions if you lose capacity to make those decisions.
An attorney is the person or person(s) you appoint in your advance health directive and/or power of attorney to carry out your instructions.
A beneficiary is a person you name to receive a benefit from your will or super nomination. For example, family, friends or charities.
An estate is the net worth (assets less liabilities) of a person.
The executor will control how your estate is to be distributed. They will also carry out your instructions in your will.
A guardian is a person or person(s) that you appoint to look after your minor children if you pass away. We recommend that you discuss and obtain consent from prospective guardian(s) because it is a very important decision.
Letter of Wishes
A letter of wishes is a confidential document that is intended to provide guidance about your will. We therefore recommend a letter of wishes for people who appoint a guardian or create a testamentary trust in a will.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives an attorney the authority to make financial and/or personal health decisions on your behalf if you lose capacity to make those decisions.
The residue of an estate is everything that is left to be distributed once the specific gifts have been given and all debts have been paid.
A specific gift is a particular item that you wish to give a person in your will. For example, a house, sum of money or piece of jewellery.
Your super will not automatically fall into your estate and your will. So you must make a document called a super nomination to control who receives your super. Otherwise, your super fund can decide who receives your super.
A testamentary trust is a trust created in a will. It is a popular tool because it allows a greater level of protection and control.
A trustee is the person who is responsible for managing a trust.
A will is a legal document that sets out how you want your estate to be distributed.
WOULD YOU LIKE FURTHER INFORMATION?
If you would like to discuss your estate planning with us, please contact us today.
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. You should seek appropriate professional advice based upon your particular circumstances.