concerned person

 

  1. Failing to plan

The popular thought around estate planning is that it’s only for wealthy people with numerous assets. But have you ever considered what will happen to your family if you die or lose the mental capacity to make decisions without an estate plan? What will happen to the distribution of your superannuation or life insurance? Who will look after your children? What type of medical wishes should be followed? Will your savings dwindle after tax has been paid?

 

There are so many questions that are answered in an estate plan, which can reduce the confusion and stress in an already highly emotional time in life.

  1. Out-of-date wills

A will that is out-of-date may not hold up in court if there are any disputes. This could mean that your entire will is rendered invalid and your assets will be distributed according to state intestacy law. If your estate plan doesn’t match your current circumstances, it may not be legally binding. To avoid heartache and confusion, ensure that you update your will after all significant life events.

  1. Choosing the wrong person

When choosing a Power of Attorney and Executor you are literally putting your life into someone else’s hands, so choose carefully! Typically people follow suit and choose the eldest child as their executor. But is this the most appropriate person to execute your wishes? Both the Power of Attorney and Executor need to be trustworthy as well as willing and able to execute your wishes.

  1. Planning solely for death

An unexpected or long-term disability will often have consequences that are greater than those of death, so it’s important to plan for all circumstances in life. Decisions such as who will raise your children, handle your personal/financial affairs and make healthcare decisions are extremely important and should be included in your estate plan.

  1. Not communicating your wishes

Contesting and confusion over estates are far more likely to occur when there are surprises at the time of administering an estate. Openly communicate your wishes with your family to avoid leaving them in a very difficult situation. While it may be hard to have such a conversation, it’s important that family hear from you about your estate plan to avoid an unpleasant surprise when you’re gone.

  1. Procrastinating

Even for those that realise the benefits of having an estate plan, this realisation comes too late in time. Avoid the stress of not having a proper estate plan in place, and take the steps to protect your family when you’re not able to make decisions.

  1. Not meeting with a professional

A do-it-yourself will might seem like a good option now, but when you’re gone the appeal will certainly be gone along with you. The many problems with DIY wills include the improper disposal or uncertainty of the estate that will result in expensive court action. A DIY will doesn’t take into consideration tax minimisation strategies, and generally doesn’t deal effectively with superannuation and family trusts.

People often think that their circumstances are too simple to seek professional help, but if you knew your family would be better off from specialist knowledge in the future would you change your mind?

 

Here at MG Partners, we are specialists in Estate Planning and have offered many outstanding solutions for our clients. Contact Mark Gashi by phone 03 9523 6500 or email mgashi@mgaccountants.com.au for a free consultation today.

Michelle Savage

MG Partners also has an associate in-house Lawyer, Michelle Savage, who will help you to achieve the best outcomes for your legal matters.

Michelle operates from within Savage & Co out of our Elsternwick office. Get to know our associate Michelle in her ‘get to know you’ blog here!