Estate planning – not just for the wealthy

The word ‘estate’ can conjure up thoughts of vast property portfolios, a ton of money, flashy cars and lots of jewellery. But the reality is that if you have any assets, you have an estate.

And as the owner of the estate, you really should take time to ensure your affairs are in order. Particularly if you have loved ones that depend on you and you want to make sure they’re properly cared for in the event you become incapacitated or pass away.

Estate planning is particularly important if you:

  • Are a parent
  • Have family members with special needs
  • Have recently bought or sold major assets
  • Have a family trust, self-managed super fund or business.

Estate planning ensures that the assets you have worked hard to build is protected. It reduces the stress on your loved ones or beneficiaries at what is generally a very difficult time. It will ensure that when you die or become incapacitated, your wealth is transferred to them smoothly, tax effectively and according to your wishes.

More than just a Will

If you already have a Will, then you’re off to a good start. However, many people make the mistake of believing that their Will covers all their assets. This isn’t the case.

Jointly held assets, trust assets and Superannuation are not covered by your Will and must be considered as part of a full estate plan.

An estate plan includes:

  • Having a valid and up-to-date Will
  • Nominating your beneficiaries for your super and your risk insurance policies
  • Naming guardians for your young children
  • Possibly setting up testamentary trusts to reduce tax liabilities for your beneficiaries
  • Appointing someone you trust as power of attorney to look after your financial and personal affairs if you become incapacitated.

Don’t wait

The best time to get your estate affairs in order is now. Your financial adviser can help you set up an estate plan, ensuring you have a valid Will and appropriate risk insurance cover. They can also help you determine the most financially and tax-effective way to distribute your assets after you die.  This is all done in conjunction with your solicitor.

Contact Bridges Lake Macquarie today to give you peace of mind knowing that your wealth is protected.

Bridges Financial Services Pty Limited (Bridges). ABN 60 003 474 977. ASX Participant. AFSL No 240837. This is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consult a financial planner.

Bridges Financial Services Pty Limited (Bridges). ABN 60 003 474 977. ASX Participant. AFSL No 240837. This is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consult a financial planner.