If you think about all the time and effort that goes into building and accumulating your wealth, we need to recognise the importance of taking steps to ensure its effectively dealt with on your passing.
Estate planning is commonly overlooked, possibly through an unfounded belief that your affairs are in order, or ‘I’m too young, it won’t happen to me’.
Death, is an unfortunate inevitability. It’s time to forgo emotions attached to estate planning and approach it practically to ensure we protect assets and that control and ownership passes to persons of your choosing.
What things should you be thinking about?
Last Will and Testament:
Do you have a Will? Is it up-to-date?
Have you re-visited your Will when circumstances have changed (divorce, marriage, new child, new business, increase in assets, to name some).
Rule of thumb – re-visit your Will every five years.
Enduring Power of Attorney (‘EPOA’):
This specifies who controls your financial affairs if you become incapacitated.
Is the person nominated a trusted person who will act for your benefit?
Do you have a self-managed superannuation fund in place?
Enduring Power of Guardianship (‘EG’):
This names who will make personal, lifestyle and treatment decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
Is your current choice the person you wish to make these decisions?
Binding Death Benefit Nomination (‘BDBN’) and your SMSF:
Is your BDBN in place, still current and effective?
Will your members balance be dealt with in accordance with your Will or will the SMSF trustee have discretion in how your members balance is distributed?
This needs to be reviewed regularly, ensuring persons named as beneficiaries are acceptable and appropriate given your circumstances.
Who should I speak with?
Cutcher & Neale has extensive experience in estate planning. We can review your estate planning documents (Wills, EPOAs, EG’s and BDBNs) and make recommendations for current and foreseeable changes.
We can liaise with your lawyer to ensure your estate planning documents reflect your current situation.
For more information, please contact your Cutcher & Neale advisor.