Estate planning is more than a Will. It's about saving tax. It's about protecting the assets you have worked hard to acquire. It's about a safe and smooth transfer of assets to your loved ones. Estate planning is about peace of mind. At Robertson de Rooy and Associates we will work with your solicitor to ensure that your Estate Planning needs are appropriate to your situation.
An effective Estate Plan should:
- give you certainty as to how your assets will be managed if you are incapacitated and unable to look after your own affairs
- establish how and when it's best to distribute assets to your loved ones
- cater for the current and future needs of your beneficiaries
- protect your assets so that they pass to the right beneficiaries at the right time.
What to consider when drafting your Will
You need to consider a number of things when drafting your Will including changes to the family situation of yourself and your beneficiaries, whether your assets are at risk from a former partner and the ability of your beneficiaries to manage their inheritance.
Why use a testamentary trust?
You have paid enough tax throughout your lifetime and worked too hard to see your assets at risk if a beneficiary experiences a divorce or is incapable of responsibly managing money.
Using a testamentary trust has potentially significant tax benefits and is especially useful for passing on assets to beneficiaries who may need extra protection e.g. (minors; spendthrifts or those suffering vulnerability).
Enduring Power of attorney
An enduring power of attorney is where you appoint someone to make financial or legal decisions on your behalf if, in the future, you lose the capacity to make decisions yourself.
Enduring powers of attorney are useful for estate planning. For example, they can help if you suffer a stroke, are incapacitated in an accident, or develop dementia. Your enduring power of attorney can then legally manage your financial affairs for you.
Your enduring power of attorney can:
- operate your bank accounts
- pay your bills, and
- buy or sell property on your behalf.
In jurisdictions such as New South Wales and Victoria, your attorney cannot make lifestyle decisions for you. If you want to give someone the authority to make medical decisions for you in New South Wales, you must appoint an enduring guardian. In Victoria, you must appoint an enduring power of attorney (medical) and enduring guardian.