What happens when I’m gone?
I won’t be here, so they can sort it out among themselves…
You hear many stories about families falling apart after someone has passed away, whether the breakdown is a result of financial complications, or where children from a blended family miss out on their inheritance because the surviving spouse remarries, and their new partner takes control of the assets.
Most people think that a Will prevents this from happening, and ensures all of their wishes will be carried out. Unfortunately this is not always the case.
Your Will only covers the assets owned in your own name. Your Will does not cover assets owned in a company, superannuation or a trust. You need to ensure the right people are in control of these assets to ensure your estate is divided as you would like it to be.
If you don’t have a Will and pass away intestate (i.e. the value of your assets is greater than the sum of your enforceable debts and funeral expenses) the Public Trustee will be responsible for your estate. A Will ensures your estate will be dealt with according to your wishes. Your Will can place a protection barrier around your assets so you lessen the risk of your assets being controlled by those you don’t want controlling them.
You need to ensure your Will is structured correctly to protect your assets from unrelated parties, such as future spouses, step children and/or creditors. Your Will can provide significant tax savings to your children or grandchildren. For those under the age of 18, there are significant tax savings, provided the Will is written and executed correctly.
These assets can also be protected from third parties (such as in-law parents/guardians) by controlling what age your beneficiaries can take responsibility of them.
Even though you may appoint a person to be an executor of your Will, they do not have to accept this appointment. If this person has not been consulted prior to the appointment, their choice not to be the executor will generally only surface after you have passed away and it is too late.
You need to ensure you consult your chosen Executor prior to the appointment.
For more pointers on Estate Planning, join us next week when we talk about Trusts. We can assist you with all aspects of Estate Planning, be with you at meetings with your lawyer or coordinate the process for you.
Feel free to call us on 07 3833 3999 for more information or visit us at: http://www.financiallywellorganised.com