Estate planning plays an important role in wealth management. It not only involves documenting how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away, but it also addresses how you plan to look after yourself, both medically and financially, should you be in a situation where you are unable to make these decisions for yourself.
Ultimately, a complete estate plan gives you – and your family – peace of mind and the ability to avoid misunderstandings and potential tensions.
Estate planning can be a complex area with important tax and legal implications, and taking a do-it-yourself approach can be risky. That’s why it makes sense to speak to your FinChoice financial adviser, who after getting to know your situation can work with the right people to ensure you have an appropriate estate plan that addresses your wishes.
What do I need to consider?
Your financial situation, how your assets are structured (e.g. trusts and companies) and your family situation (e.g. nuclear, single-parent or blended family) are some of the more common factors that will determine your estate planning requirements.
Depending on your situation you may have simple estate planning needs or they may be more advanced, however either way, you still need to think about what assets you own, and who you would like to have inherit them if anything happened to you.
Estate plans shouldn’t be “set and forget”
Our lives don’t stand still for long, and any major changes in your life should be a cue to speak with your financial adviser to update your estate plans. Common significant events that will require a review of your estate plan would be marriage, separation, divorce, and the arrival of children. Other significant events that might trigger a review would be when you buy or sell a major asset.
As part of an ongoing advice relationship, your adviser can help you identify when the changes in your circumstances mean that it would be appropriate to review and update your estate plan.
The main takeaway is that your FinChoice financial adviser can guide you across every life stage to help you develop, and maintain, an estate plan that continues to remain in line with your wishes. This is not limited to personal estate planning and also extends to business estate planning.
Wills, power of attorney, testamentary trusts, child guardianship
Advanced estate planning encompasses a range of aspects – and there are benefits to be had now from reviewing your estate plans, as well as significant upside in the future when you take steps now to help avoid tension and misunderstanding at what will already be a difficult time for your loved ones.