Overview of Planning

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes

Benjamin Franklin (or perhaps Mark Twain or Daniel Defoe or ….!)

You need a PLAN for you, your family and your relatives.

You need to plan how you own property and how you can access and control it.  The sooner you have a PLAN the better.  It might be quite a simple PLAN, but you need to have one.

When it comes to buying a new car, a new house or a new investment, whose name should go in?  People will answer the question and go ahead with the purchase even though the only way to actually answer the question is to refer to the overall PLAN in order to answer the question.  So often when I do help someone make a PLAN, we find that recent decisions on purchases that have been made in relation to property do not fit the PLAN!

You then have the problem of spending the money to make the change - which is often too expensive or waiting until the occasion arises to replace the car, the house the investment etc.  It does show you why you need to get in early and make your PLAN.  It may take some time to implement the PLAN in the way that you intend.

The starting point is to deal with certainties - things that you know will occur.  Death and taxes might be a starting point!  Often the planning associated with succession is referred to as "estate planning".  Then you need to add the possibility of other risks and eventualities that might arise.  There are some easy things to do that just eliminate a whole range of risks and potential problems.

It is not just yourself that you need to consider in making a PLAN.  You need to consider the impact of relatives whose affairs you may get involved with because -

  • informally they need your assistance;
  • incapacity of some sort requires the involvement of carers;
  • they need in attorney to look after their financial affairs;
  • they need a guardian to make lifestyle decisions;
  • they die and you are a beneficiary and/or executor or administrator of the estate.

If these sorts of matters arise with your relatives, life would be far better if there was a good PLAN in place before any of this actually occurred.