What is Estate Planning?
Estate Planning is ensuring that the assets that you have accumulated over the years are passed on to those that you want them to be passed on to i.e. giving clear instructions to your Executor/s on how your Estate is to be distributed, whilst minimising the impact of any potential challenges to your Estate.
Estate Planning in itself is a very important tool to make sure that what assets can be passed on through your Will and passed onto the correct beneficiaries and under what circumstances, such as, having a protected asset structure in place like a Testamentary Trust (if there is a need for one). This type of Trust ensures that there is an ongoing blood-line protection, tax efficiency and asset protection.
It is equally important to note what assets do not go to the Estate such as assets in a Family Trust or company or even your superannuation and life insurances if your Estate is not specifically nominated.
Therefore, whilst you may think that the simple solution is that your assets are equally split with your loved ones, it may not necessarily be the case as there may be a loved one that is not good with money and would spend it quickly or, or may be a case where you want to protect your grand children for their future needs as well as your children, from a potential failing relationship.
Once again it is very important to set these things up in the right manner and discuss it with the appropriate professionals.
Why do I need this?
If you do not have a Will the government will take control of the distribution of your assets.
Depending on the type of assets that you hold the propose of the Will is to give a clear indication of where and to whom you want your assets to go to and under what circumstances.
If you do not have Will, the Government, through its Trustee administration structure, will administer the distribution of your Estate Assets. The risk is that your assets may not necessarily go where you may wish them to go. Therefore, it is extremely important, from an emotional perspective, to ensure that what you have worked hard for all your life, is distributed according to where you want those asset to go.
It is equally important to note that under such an administration, it may be more costly depending on the number of assets that you have, than compared to having a Will where you would nominate an Executor to distribute the assets according to your wishes.
What will the cost be to me?
Subject to your needs, the costs can vary between $700 – $3,500 through one of our panel of Solicitors.
The question more so, is “what will it cost your Estate if you don’t have an appropriate Will in place?” It may be more costly to be administered and secondly it may create a disruption in the process if your Estate is challenged by beneficiaries or people who believe that they should be beneficiaries. The legal challenge costs could effectively eat into the legal costs associated with any such challenges and this, in turn, will diminish the value of the Estate.
Please see your Solicitor or one of representatives will be in contact within 24 hours.