Estate planning is a vital part of any financial plan, as it ensures that your assets are distributed the way you want and in a tax effective way, after you pass away.
A Will is the instrument by which your wishes are recorded in terms of how and to whom the assets will be distributed. An executor is responsible for ensuring that the Will is implemented correctly and therefore carries a great deal of responsibility.
Where there is no valid Will the estate is deemed to be intestate. This means that the assets of the Estate will be distributed according to the various state government rules, based on a legal formula, which may be contrary to the persons wishes.
Assets that form part of the Estate are those that are owned by the person individually. However, not all assets form part of the Estate. For instance, most family homes are owned as joint tenants, which means that if one person dies the surviving spouse will automatically acquire 100% interest in the home. Also, financial assets held in superannuation funds can be directed by the Fund trustees, unless a binding death nomination is in place.
Where there are children under age 18, a Testamentary Trust and Guardianship can be included in a Will to ensure that minors are looked after.
Manifest Financial Wealth can help you identify the estate planning strategies that may impact your financial situation, and ensure that you seek legal advice from a solicitor to implement appropriate strategies.