We all make plans for the future – goals we wish to achieve. But the best plans can go sideways when “unexpected” challenges disrupt or derail our life. Plans and goals usually don’t include Estate planning, Wills and Testamentary Trusts
Don’t be afraid of the unexpected – be prepared for it! Nothing is stopping you from taking action today to ensure unexpected challenges are nothing more than a minor disruption!
As Gold Coast Wills and Estate Planning Lawyers, we encourage our clients to take control of their family’s future by taking the action needed to ensure all the necessary safeguards in place.
We have all heard stories about someone who didn’t organise their personal and financial affairs, which later created havoc for their spouse and dependants. It’s not a pleasant conversation explaining to the people attempting to cope with the consequences of inaction!
Take action to protect you and your family from the unwanted consequences encountered when illness or injury throws out all your well intentioned plans and dreams. Review your circumstances and take the action needed today.
The Estate Planning Health Check is a list of questions designed to take a snapshot of where your arrangements are at – given your family circumstances.
Where to start to protect your family’s future?
Start by reviewing what you have and what you don’t have.
The review involves assessing your:
- Personal Risk Insurances
- Will – and whether a Testamentary Trust would be of benefit
- Enduring Power of Attorney – the Living Will as some people like to call it !
These questions help you start thinking about the issues that need to be considered when determining how you would like your estate to be managed and distributed to your family members and others.
Wills can generally be separated into 2 categories:
- a basic Will appointing an executor and distributing your assets to your beneficiaries (not recommended)
- a complete Will containing Testamentary Trusts for the benefit and protection of your beneficiaries. This Will helps your family enjoy the assets of your estate, even if subject to family law disputes, creditors actions, spendthrift beneficiaries or disabled beneficiaries.
Enjoying the present… the future is taken care of
A standard Will is no longer suitable for many Australians. A Testamentary Discretionary Trust (TDT) simply refers to a trust established by someone’s Will.
You need a Will which provides flexible options which can be utilised by your family as and where required. Benefits of testamentary trusts may include considerable tax savings and asset protection.
There are 2 main categories of benefits for Testamentary Trusts:
- Income Tax Savings
- Asset Protection
When you prepare your Will with testamentary trusts, you will need to answer the questions in our guide.
Powers of Attorney can be separated into 2 categories:
- a General Power of Attorney enabling someone to act on your behalf
- an Enduring Power of Attorney enabling someone to act on your behalf even where you subsequently lose your mental capacity.
If you were to lose your mental capacity due to accident or illness; the trusted person in your life that you would want to look after you would be unable to do so.
Someone can only manage your personal, legal or financial affairs where you have given them the written authority that is contained in an Enduring Power of Attorney.
Advanced Health Directive
An Advanced Health Directive can also be prepared to provide specific directions about the level of medical treatment you require where your health deteriorates.