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Estate Planning

Doesn’t this refer to my Will – which is drawn up by a Solicitor or using a Will Kit … then what is the role of a Financial Adviser?

Having a Will in place does not necessarily mean you have made provision for ALL of your assets. There are some assets that cannot be dealt with directly through a Will. These include joint bank accounts, property that is owned jointly, life insurances and your superannuation accounts. Hence it is your financial adviser’s role to make you are aware of issues such as this and help you with your complete “estate planning“ needs.

Every time your Adviser recommends you invest in a certain structure like a company, super fund or a particular investment they need to be cognisant of the estate ramifications including tax considerations on your death or disability.

Basic Financial Planning qualifications include estate planning and in addition there are specialist courses in this area such as the FPA Accredited Estate Planning Course which Sharni has completed.

Many lawyers prepare Wills but few specialise in the more complex field of estate planning. In fact, estate planning has not been a compulsory part of a law degree for some 20 years.

An Estate Engagement goes through the following steps;

  • Identify and prioritise your objectives.
  • Assess your current and likely future circumstances.
  • Determine if you have sufficient funding in short and long term to achieve your objectives.

  • Assess options and identify impediments.
  • Formulate the strategy – the Estate Plan.
  • Implementing the Plan – this is where the Lawyers come in (if not already consulted) to draw up the appropriate legal documentation.
  • Ongoing Review.

The aim of estate planning is to provide the following outcomes;

  • Certainty in the fulfilment of your wishes.
  • Tax efficient transfer of the control of your wealth.
  • Reduced potential for disputes and arguments within your family.
  • Protection for beneficiaries in need (particularly disabled beneficiaries)