Estate Planning – If There Is A Will, There Is A Way
More than just creating a last will and testament. It is about creating peace of mind that you can share with your family and loved ones, secure in the knowledge that everyone’s interest are protected.
Many consider estate planning to be something done by the wealthy, soon to retire or those with many dependents. However, this is not the case, is essential for people of all ages regardless of your wealth or number of dependents. Whenever there are assets and liabilities involved, you need the assistance of a financial planner to create an estate plan.
Generally was defined as “the planning and documentation of the wishes of a person for the distribution of all assets under the control of that person following death “. As estate planning has evolved so has the definition. Today estate planning is a much more dynamic process which can be defined as the planning, development and documentation of strategies for:
1. Protecting the income capacity of those that depend on you.
2. Protecting your wealth against legal claims of others.
3. Ensuring the last will and testament and other legal documents meet legislative requirements to successfully execute your wishes.
4. Ensuring your affairs are settled according to your wishes while taking into account the needs and circumstances of your beneficiaries.
5. Effectively distributing your wealth to minimise tax.
6. Eliminating the possibility for disputes and challenges.
7. Formally appointing a person to manage your legal, financial and personal affairs.
8. Effectively transferring control of your business, investments and non-estate assets.
9. Reviewing and updating your estate plan and documentation to keep all aspects current and aligned.
Estate planning and drafting of your last will and testament has many advantages but similarly presents many challenges. Some of the challenges include having to face one’s own mortality, difficulties discussing it with one’s family and the complex issues and regulations that surround the estate plan and your last will and testament.
Your financial planner can play and important part in your estate plan and drafting of your last will and testament. Your financial planner usually has in-depth knowledge of your current financial situation as well as an understanding of your personal and business financial objectives. Your financial planner can advise you on how best to structure your estate to meet your needs and wishes. Additionally, your financial planner will be able to give your family financial advice and help with the execution of your wishes. Your financial planner also plays a valuable role by referring you to other professionals such as tax specialists, lawyers, life insurance brokers and any other areas you may need more specialised advice.