Estate Planning involves planning to distribute and provide assets to beneficiaries, in the event that you pass away, or that you are unable to fulfil your legal duties. It is more than completing a Will, as there are other assets, such as superannuation and life insurance proceeds that may not be dealt with in a Will.
The objectives of Estate Planning must be established prior to making a Will and the planning of leaving other assets to beneficiaries. The following objectives are examples:
- Appropriate provision of assets or surviving dependants, including spouse and children
- Minimisation of taxation liabilities
- Protection of estate for beneficiaries with special needs (this is useful for families with disabled children or dependants)
- Protection of pension entitlements of beneficiaries
- Succession of non-estate assets
- The satisfaction of philanthropic objectives
Estate Planning can also include the execution of a Power of Attorney. This is a formal document by which one person (called the donor) appoints another person (called the attorney) to act on their behalf. A Power of Attorney is an important document in the financial planning process. It enables the control of the financial, legal and personal affairs of a person in their absence, either physically or mentally.
There are generally three types of Power of Attorney:
- General Power of Attorney
- Enduring Power of Attorney
- Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment)
AustAsia Financial Planning Pty Ltd (ACN 080 213 378) is not licensed to provide specific legal advice on the establishment and maintenance of Wills. However, we can assist in determining your Estate Planning requirements through our relationship with several solicitors, which we can recommend.