Raffi PailagianMBA, BSc, DipFP
Adviser / Managing Partner
We’ve all seen it. Someone dies and the family goes into financial freefall, because there was no Estate Plan in place to take care of those left behind. Or even worse, a feeding frenzy stars over the assets and before you know it the lawyers are the only beneficiaries.
In this, our final article in the series Ingredients of a Financial Plan, we will cover why Estate Planning is the last important piece in the puzzle, and how you might go about ensuring all the hard work you put into your Financial Plan continues to pay dividends, even after you are gone.
Estate Planning is about much more than making sure you have a current will, although that is an important element. Estate Planning is the process of anticipating the needs of your loved ones after your death and arranging the management of your assets to ensure those needs are met.
Whether you have millions in assets, or nothing more than a home and some superannuation, if you have any assets, you need to have a plan.
A well-structured estate plan will:
Research shows that around 52% of Australians do not have a will[i]. This means when they die, their estate will become ‘intestate’ and rather than their assets going where they want them to, the State government will decide how to distribute them according to a standard legal formula.
This not only means the disbursement of assets will take longer, but they will not necessarily go where they want them to.
You might be surprised at how many people have a legal right to make a ‘claim’ on your estate – in fact, anyone who at any time was part of the household of the deceased may have a claim. Nobody wants their hard-earned assets to go to someone they barely know, or no longer have a connection to. So write a will people!
Not all of your assets are ‘estate’ assets, and as such are not dealt with in your will.
These assets, while not being part of your will, are still part of your estate, and need to be considered in your planning.
If you don’t already have a plan in place there are two things you need to do:
A good Financial Adviser can help you with this. Once you have established where you stand you can identify anything you need to add to your financial plan to make your Estate Plan effective. That’s when you will need to draw up a will. A good lawyer with specific experience in wills and estates can make sure it is well structured and legally binding.
If you need help determining how your estate will take care of your dependents and loved ones once you are no longer able to, Manly Financial Services have the knowledge and experience to guide you in the right direction. If you would like to discuss your Estate Plan, or any other aspect of financial planning, give us a call on (02) 9976 3388 or click below and we will be in touch shortly.
Head Office: Suite 105-106, Level 1, 39 East Esplanade, Manly NSW 2095
Manly Financial Services Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (Representative No.: 321127) ABN 38 115 806 883 of Futuro Financial Services Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licensee (AFSL 238478)
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