Make sure your money goes exactly where you want
What is estate planning?
Estate planning is about giving yourself proper control of your assets and ensuring that they go into the right hands at the right time after your death. If done correctly, it gives you the peace of mind of controlling the distribution of your wealth. Unfortunately, no one knows what the future holds and it is important that you plan your estate to ensure that the money and other wealth you have accumulated goes to the people you intended.
What is a Will?
A Will is a document that allows you to choose who should benefit from your estate. It is important to ensure that the Will is correctly drafted and it should take into account any relevant estate planning strategies.
Persons working for Goal Financial Services are not able to provide legal advice under Capstone’s Licence, however we will work closely with your solicitor or other personal legal representative.
Why should I consider having a Will?
Proper estate planning can maximise the amount that is passed to your chosen beneficiaries – and to minimise how much goes to unintended creditors, other beneficiaries or even the ATO. To ensure that this happens in your case, it is important to carefully analyse your personal situation and have a valid Will drafted.
What if you don’t have a Will?
If you die without a Will, you are said to have died ‘intestate’. Where this happens, you have left no law instructions as to how you wish your estate to be distributed. The laws in each State and Territory in Australia operate to determine who will inherit assets from your estate. The general rule is that the estate will pass to the next of kin of the deceased such as your spouse and/or children.
Will my estate be taxed?
Although death duties have ceased to exist in Australia, capital gains tax (CGT) can have a similar effect unless you carefully plan in advance.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document appointing a person or organisation to act on your behalf. By appointing an attorney, you grant them the authority to make decisions for you, sign documents and generally act in your best interests. For example, your attorney could buy and sell shares for you, manage your finances and pay your bills. This person’s appointment becomes invalid if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself.
You could also elect to establish an Enduring Power of Attorney, where you appoint a person to make financial and legal decisions for you if you lose the capacity to make your own decisions.
What is an Enduring Guardianship?
Where the enduring Power of Attorney allows someone to make financial and legal decisions for you, an Enduring Guardian is allowed to make personal and lifestyle decisions for you. You can nominate what ‘functions’ your guardian can make decisions for you in the document.
What is a Testamentary Trust?
Another powerful estate planning tool is a Testamentary Trust. A Testamentary Trust can best be thought of as a trust that is created by your Will after your death to hold assets in trust for your beneficiaries.
It can also protect beneficiaries from the possible loss of inherited assets through divorce or bankruptcy.