The Importance of Estate Planning and Why You Should Start Today
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The Importance of Estate Planning and Why You Should Start Today

Following the past year’s events, more Australians than ever before are beginning to make long-term preparations. According to a recent survey, 70% of Australians have not yet written a Will. From January 2020, it was found that the curiosity of many online users about drafting a Will had grown 127%. 

The numbers make sense, given that a worldwide pandemic has been gripping our lives for almost two years already. After all, it is not wholly superfluous to simply prepare for the worst in times of crisis.

Despite this, a global epidemic does not need to emerge to remind us of the significance of preparedness ahead of time. According to the above-mentioned research, 34% of respondents stated they would make a Will if they fell ill or were diagnosed with a terminal disease.

Making a Will and creating an estate plan is not just for the elderly. Whatever your age, marital status, or financial condition is today, you must include creating a Will as you prioritise future planning. 

While we all want to provide for our loved ones, failing to plan can result in our assets not being distributed as intended. Younger generations may not feel ready for this stage yet, but it’s essential to instil in them that it is vital to develop an adaptable estate plan as assets grow.  

This notion is especially applicable for those planning to buy properties or homes or if they want to allocate assets (including superannuation) in a specific way. 

So without further ado, read on to discover simple yet comprehensive steps to get you started on estate planning:

Step One: Make an Extraordinary Plan

One of the best estate planning advice we can impart to you is to craft an extraordinary plan. However, before anything, you must start now. Beginning early means you can also avoid future problems. 

For example, you can avoid missing out on details such as leaving with a Will but failing to nominate a beneficiary with your super fund. Indeed, when it comes to estate planning, your super must be held in trust by the trustee of your super fund and is governed by super law.

As a result, a beneficiary must be named (and ensure this is up-to-date with your wishes). A super beneficiary is someone who inherits your superannuation assets after you die. By naming a beneficiary, you notify your super fund of the individual you want to be the beneficiary.

Step Two: Keep Your Financial Investments Safe

A current Will ensures that your assets are dispersed in accordance with your desires. For example, your home should be named in your Will to designate who will receive it when you pass away. 

It is also crucial to consult with an estate planner early on (especially if you are looking to become a joint property owner), as the method by which you own your home can affect how it is allocated after your death.

Step Three: Comply with Your Specifications

As much as we would like not to think about it, having a plan in place if you cannot advocate for yourself is critical. It allows you to nominate someone (known as a Power of Attorney) to make personal, health, and financial choices on your behalf. As a result, you can acquire the medical care you want while still planning for your funeral in the event of an untimely death.

Consider the case of a person who suffers a catastrophic brain injury due to a terrible car accident on the way to work. If you have an Enduring Power of Attorney, a designated loved one (such as your partner or parents) can automatically advocate on your behalf. 

They will also know how to manage your property, finances, and even medical treatment. Otherwise, there is no guarantee that your wishes will be honoured or that your chosen family member(s) can act in your best interests if you are unable to.

Don’t Leave Your Estate Plan Until it’s too Late

If you begin with a well-defined estate plan, you can be confident that your objectives have been adequately recorded. This way, you can ensure that your assets are safe, protected, and are received by whom you wish them for in the event of life-threatening cases and deaths. Additionally, this can help to minimise family conflicts, which can be costly if legal assistance is required.

To learn more about information on estate planning, check out these posts:

Are you in need of estate planning services in Australia? Coastal Advice Port Macquarie assists clients in achieving their retirement goals through the provision of customised financial advice. Book a complimentary consultation today!

 

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author; they are not reflective or indicative of RI Advice Group’s position and are not to be attributed to RI Advice Group. They cannot be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the author. This information (including taxation) is general in nature and does not consider your individual circumstances or needs. Do not act until you seek professional advice. Newcastle Financial Planning Group, Central Coast Financial Planning Group, Sydney Wealth Advisers, Coastal Advice Port Macquarie and Coastal Advice Ballina Byron are subsidiaries of Coastal Advice Group Pty Ltd which is a Corporate Authorised Representative of RI Advice Group Pty Ltd, ABN 23 001 774 125 AFSL 238429.
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