Introducing Peter McManus, Wills and Estates Planning Solicitor with Kenny Spring Solicitors who will be writing a series on: Estate Planning 101, over the coming few weeks.
Every week Peter will be writing an article demystifying Estate Planning and providing you with answers to many questions that our clients ask us about on a regular basis. Peter will cover Estate Planning, Wills, Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardian and Estate Administration.
WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING?
Essentially Estate Planning is developing strategies now to deal with your assets, in preparation for when you are unable to, or after you die.
Estate Planning should be considered as part of a Primary Producers’ or a Business owner’s overall succession planning.
Estate Planning strategies include: having a valid Will, which may contain Testamentary Trust; giving someone you trust your Power of Attorney and/or Guardianship; selling the farm or business or transferring the control of the farm or business to a family member either before you die or on your death.
WHAT ASSETS CAN BE DEALT WITH IN AN ESTATE PLAN?
All assets, except those that are jointly owned, Trust assets and your Superannuation.
WHY SHOULD YOU HAVE AN ESTATE PLAN?
Not having a valid Will could have serious implications as to who receives and who does not receive your assets upon your death. By not having a valid Will, the costs of administrating your estate will generally be more expensive.
If you lose ability to deal with your own finances and assets you may be forced to rely on the generosity of a family member or a family member may be forced to make an application to a tribunal to be appointed as your Power of Attorney. All this can be avoided by appointing a trusted Family member as your Power of Attorney; this will enable the trusted family member to assist you in managing your finances, financial affairs and assets.
Similarly, if you are unable to make decisions about your health, you can appoint a trusted family member as your Guardian to make decisions about what medical treatment you receive and what medical treatments you don’t receive and where you live.
Over the coming weeks this column will cover: Why do I need a valid Will?, Tips and Warnings on Will kits, What are Testamentary Trust?, the effect or marriage or separation on your Will, Power of Attorneys, Enduring Guardians, Estate administration and what is a Family Provision claim?.
Please note the answers provided are for your general information only and we ask you to call our office on 1800 650 656 to obtain detailed legal advice for your individual situation.
Peter McManus | Wills and Estates Planning Solicitor