Many people think estate planning doesn’t apply to them
The word ‘estate’ has connotations of vast acres of land, sprawling mansions and millions of dollars; but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Despite being one of the most critical areas in the total management of your financial affairs, estate planning is often overlooked.
Estate planning is the complete consideration of your assets and liabilities. Everyone can benefit from estate planning regardless of the amount of money you have, your age or your family status. As a minimum, we should all have a valid will and a power of attorney which should be reviewed every three years or so, or on major life events such as marriage, divorce or the birth of children or grandchildren. Estate planning can be used both to distribute your wealth and also to create and protect it.
Your Crest Financial Services team members have the ability and expertise to assist you with your estate planning needs and objectives. Your financial planner will liaise with your solicitor or trustee to draw up your will.
Estate planning is a logical extension to the financial planning process. Having put your financial plan into place to ensure your family’s future financial security, estate planning can be a tax efficient means of transferring your assets.
At its core, estate planning aims to lessen the stress for grieving families during an already painful time.
In essence, estate planning involves three basic elements:
- Deciding how your estate will be divided;
- Making or modifying your will; and
- Providing the means to ensure that your wishes are carried out.
A well-constructed estate plan entails much more than making a will. It may, for example, include:
- Appointing a power of attorney – one person or a group of people you trust to look after your financial and business affairs;
- Establishing a discretionary or family trust to protect your wealth;
- Establishing a testamentary trust to reduce your family’s tax liability; and
Appointing a trustee and/or executor to carry out your wishes in accordance with your will.