Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Estate planning

Estate planning ensures that, upon your death, the wealth you’ve accumulated is transferred to your beneficiaries efficiently, tax-effectively, and in line with your wishes.

Elements of an estate plan can include:
  • A will – A legal document that outlines your wishes and names the executor of your estate. This is the person who will have the responsibility of carrying out your wishes as outlined in your will.  If you die without a will, the court will appoint an administrator. It can take months for this process to be completed and there is no guarantee that your dependents will receive what you may have intended.
  • A power of attorney – An enduring power of attorney (EPA) allows you to appoint other people to make decisions on your behalf, in the event that you will not be able to make them yourself.  If you become incapacitated and do not have an EPA, your family may need to obtain an order from the court to be granted decision-making authority.
  • A discretionary trust(s) – Establishing a trust is a way of preserving assets or funds for a particular person or group. Under your will you can create a tax effective trust designed to provide income to fund your children's education or leave a gift for underage or disabled beneficiaries.