The importance of estate planning

An estate plan is critical to your overall financial wellbeing, ensuring that your assets and liabilities are managed best after death. If you are living in Brisbane, it’s important to remember that an estate plan is not just about drafting a will but also considers other elements such as superannuation benefits and taxation obligations. The complexity of an estate plan will vary depending upon the size and nature of an individual’s assets and liabilities and their circumstances. There are estate planning lawyers in Brisbane who hold the expertise of guiding you through the process.

What is an estate plan?

Estate planning is about making a plan for the future of your personal and financial affairs. Your estate plan must include a will, which is a document that specifies how you prefer your property distribution after your demise. It can also include other documents such as a binding death nomination, which stipulates who should look after any children you may have when they are adults; an enduring power of attorney; advanced medical directives (e.g., forms to allow or prevent medical treatment).

Estate planning should not just be about what happens when someone dies but also about protecting the people left behind by ensuring adequate protection in case of incapacity or disability.

Difference between a will and an overall estate plan

Estate planning differs from will-making in that it includes other legal documents, such as enduring power of attorney, letters of instructions, advanced care directives, and family trust agreements. Estate planning can also include superannuation (also known as ‘retirement savings’) arrangements where an independent financial adviser or lawyer specialising in this area has prepared an estate plan.

Difference between property ownership and estate plan

Estate plans differ from property ownership because there are different options available depending on whether someone owns their own home outright or not; owns shares in a company or unit title; holds superannuation funds outside Australia; has business interests; holds commercial property investments either domestically or overseas; operates leasehold premises under long term lease agreements which may have been established through commercial leasing agents rather than real estate agents, etc.

Possibility of erosion by tax liabilities

Sans an effective estate plan in place, there is a real risk that your estates can be unnecessarily consumed in legal costs. An estate lawyer is an integral part of the overall process. Estate planning lawyers in Brisbane help ensure that your wishes are known and respected when it comes time to distribute your estate upon death. They will also ensure that any tax liability associated with the transfer or settlement of assets is minimised as much as possible.

When you engage with an estate planning lawyer, they advise you on how best to structure your affairs to comply with current laws while providing maximum benefit for yourself, your family, and other beneficiaries after death. An experienced adviser can help guide you through various options available under existing laws concerning:

What kind of trust arrangements would be suitable for different parts of your wealth (for example, lifetime trusts).
Whether a discretionary income stream should be provided for someone who has special needs or disabilities throughout their life (and if so, what type).
Who should manage certain assets or investments on behalf of beneficiaries until they reach maturity?

Conclusion

An estate plan is all about peace of mind. It’s about knowing that your loved ones will be looked after the way you want them. The process can initially seem overwhelming, but it will become second nature once you get started.

 

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