Although it’s unpleasant to think about it, it’s important to consider what would happen to your family and assets when you die. Even if you have already established a financial plan to achieve your goals and to protect your family, have you thought about what will happen further down the track when you’re no longer around?
These recent statistics show how important estate planning is:
- Only 55% of Australians die with a valid Will and many of these Wills provide no tax minimisation or asset protection strategies
- One in three marriages now end in divorce and, with 53% of divorces involving children, the need for careful estate planning has never been greater
- A recent survey completed by one of the leading retail companies in Australia has found that, while 76% of people believed their family would live comfortably in the event of their death, only 28% had worked out how much their family would actually need to maintain their current standard of living.
With your family, for example, although your children are probably no longer financially dependent on you, you probably still want to leave them an inheritance. So the first thing you’ll need to do is work out your financial objectives – like how much your family will need. Even if you’ve already made a Will, a basic Will may not achieve the best outcome for your beneficiaries.
You also need to consider what would happen if any of your children’s relationships change in the future – for example, if one divorced and remarried, would your money still go where you intended it to go? It’s also important to consider any tax or other implications of your estate planning arrangements.
While all this may seem quite daunting, you can avoid these issues by doing some careful estate planning.
Effective estate planning means you’ve made sure your family is provided for and that your assets go where you want them to go after you die. In other words, estate planning is making sure the right funds go to the right hands at the right time.
Take the first step now by getting professional advice.
As everyone’s individual situation is different, it makes sense to seek professional advice on your options and the most appropriate financial planning strategies for your situation. As your financial planner, we can help you establish an effective estate plan so you can rest assured, knowing that you’ve put your affairs in order.