Without a solid estate plan, your wealth may not be protected in the event of incapacity or death. Have peace of mind knowing that your personal and financial affairs are secure, and that your family and business will be looked after.
Preparing an effective Estate Plan involves a team effort between the client, their lawyer, accountant and financial advisor. Our team will help organise your financial affairs to ensure that your assets go to your chosen beneficiaries in the most structured and tax effective way. We make sure that your wishes are carried out in the way and at the time you want.
Each client’s situation will be different but the three important documents to consider preparing are:
- Will – This is your instructions as to how you want your estate administered in the event of your death. Wills can be simple or complex depending on the assets involved. Wills need to be reviewed (just like the other documents below) every few years just to make sure things are still appropriate. Under the Will you need to appoint an Executor who will carry out your instructions. Typically with a married couple the Executor is each other in the first instance but you can include secondary Executors. There are many aspects to consider in forming a Will but a basic Will probably covers the essential requirements and would make provision for children, etc. You can include testamentary trusts (which is simply a trust created under a Will of a deceased person) which provides for a certain amount of asset protection and tax benefits.
- Enduring Power of Attorney – This is where you can appoint another person(s) to act as your attorney to make financial and legal decisions even if you lose mental capacity. Choosing your attorney is very important because they can make decisions on your behalf whilst you are still alive and you are bound by their decisions.
- Enduring Guardianship - This is where you can appoint another person(s) to act as your attorney to make health care and personal decisions on your behalf, even if you lose mental capacity (e.g. like turn-off the life support machine)! The attorney for Guardianship does not need to be the same person as under Power of Attorney.