Why you need an Estate Plan

The idea that estate planning is only for the wealthy is not true.  Most middle-class families will benefit substantially from an appropriate level of planning.

Estate planning is about structuring the ownership and control of property and other financial resources for present day use and for the future, including upon death.  It is a plan devised now for the present and the foreseeable future.  It should:

  • provide for appropriate ways structure ownership and control for today; and
  • take account of the potential for death or incapacity even where these are remote possibilities.

As life expectancy diminishes, greater emphasis may be given to the potential incapacity and succession aspects.

During a person's life, estate planning is concerned with how:

  • to allow the direct or indirect use of property and financial resources as they choose;
  • to deal with property and financial resources in the most effective manner, including in a tax effective way;
  • to protect property and financial resources as far as practicable from others (such as creditors); and
  • to provide for the potential for a loss of capacity to manage financial matters, whether temporarily or long term.

When considering the aspect of a person's mortality, estate planning is concerned with:

  • an effective transfer of the control or ownership of the property and financial resources, including a tax effective transfer; and
  • that such transfer is to the intended beneficiaries.

Estate Planning is the process of working out the best possible ways of achieving your objectives for present day to day purposes as well as for the future.  To assist in this process, professional advisers need to understand both your family circumstances and your financial circumstances.  This enables them to provide you with advice as to the most appropriate options that are available to you.

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