2 May 2015

Plan ahead in 2015

My husband and I have written a Will  but I have heard these can often be challenged. What else should we consider in terms of estate planning?
Beth and Peter Dalkeith

Estate planning is something that many people think only the wealthy need to worry about. The truth is that even those with modest means will still pass something on to their children or other beneficiaries. Without a plan, conflict and confusion can easily escalate after death, leaving those you care most about with potentially difficult and divisive issues to handle.

A proper estate plan can help avoid what could become a nightmare for those left behind. While a Will is a vital component in your estate planning, it is by no means a complete solution. There can be many complexities that a Will alone cannot solve. The more complex your personal and financial affairs are, the more important it is to have a detailed estate plan  especially for your beneficiaries. A thorough estate plan will address many issues, including family relationships and what happens if they change in the future, loans made to family members prior to death, business succession or sale issues, provision of care for dependents, the smooth transfer of ownership of assets and more.

When creating an estate plan, one of the key elements that I recommend in the planning process is the involvement of your family in direct discussions. This enables proper analysis and diagnosis of estate issues so that your plan is relevant, fair and efficient for those whom it is ultimately intended to benefit. Your adviser and solicitor together can facilitate this discussion to make sure this family involvement is handled carefully and sensitively to ensure a focused result is delivered.

With the new year just around the corner, now is a great time to get your estate affairs in order. Why not make it part of an end of year review, so that other portfolio issues can be addressed and coordinated to be in sync with your estate plan.
Published in the Western Suburbs Weekly by Troy MacMillan