With around 46% of wills in Australia contested by family members and other beneficiaries, getting the estate planning side of things right means a lot to a lot of people.
Making an estate plan is more than just making a Will. It involves planning and arranging your assets including investments so that when one of you dies, the funds and assets go into the right hands at the right time.
Many don’t appreciate that it may take up to six months before a letter of probate is granted by the Supreme Court allowing for the orderly transfer of assets and even the normal operation of bank accounts. Estate planning is important as it considers all the options, like what assets can be paid out early; superannuation. Who will control business assets and how will benefits be transferred efficiently and to the right beneficiaries. The inclusion of assets in a Self Managed Super Fund can help also provide additional control over your estate plans by adopting binding nominations. Which cant be contested.
Estate planning should give you certainty and peace of mind. It gives your family the benefit of having an estate, which is there to take care of their needs and distribute assets most appropriately and beneficially.
The beneficiaries- Who benefits from estate planning?
You don’t have to be a James Packer or Gina Reinhart to benefit from estate planning, its open to everyone. The more complicated your personal and business affairs are, the more critical it becomes to have good advice in preparing an estate plan.
Planning for the future becomes more important when any of the following occur;
Making a will
Your will is a roadmap that gives direction as to how you want your assets and possessions distributed upon your death. It can cover a range of special requests including providing for children, guardianship or making specific bequests to your charitable objectives.
What happens if you don’t have a will?
Dying without a will is very inconvenient and should be avoided in all instances. If you don’t have a valid will, you will not be well thought of by those that are left to fix everything. Dieing without a will has a name; it politely referred to as ‘dying intestate’. In such an event, the Supreme Court appoints an administrator, and the assets are distributed according to a formula. This may not be in line with your intentions, and the outcomes may not be in the best interests of your family and loved ones. Unfortunate…
“For a concise and a very real example of such a case Google the death of Robert Holmes a Court. He was one of Australias richest at the time of his heart attack in 1985. He was a lawyer and entrepreneur, dealt with almost every corporate law firm in the country. Some rumoured that he had a will in his briefcase but never got around to sign it.”
We work closely with lawyers with estate planning experience so that your will and documents do the job that you intend.
Things to think about when preparing a will?