Estate planning

 

It’s probably not something you really want to think about or look forward to doing, but estate planning does play an important role in protecting the wealth you’ve worked hard to build and ensuring that it is distributed according to your wishes.

 

Depending on your circumstances, getting your legal and financial affairs in order may be relatively simple or it may involve some more specialised planning. Either way, it can be a little easier in the first instance if you understand some of the various aspects you might need to think about.

Estate planning involves much more than just having an up-to-date Will (although that’s one important aspect). As part of your estate plan, here are some questions you’ll need to consider (or download them in our estate planning fact sheet).

 

Do you need to:

  • Make or update your Will? This is a legally binding document that records your wishes for your estate and affairs.
  • Review or update your life insurance policies? Having the right amount of cover to provide financially for your dependants and cover any future financial obligations can be important for your peace of mind.
  • Nominate or update your beneficiaries? Super doesn’t automatically form part of a Will (if you have one) so it’s important to let us know what your wishes are.
  • Consider appointing a power of attorney and/or enduring guardian? These documents grant someone a legal authority to act on your behalf for financial or health matters if you’re no longer able to manage your own affairs.
  • Think about any aged care plans? It may make sense to think about these sorts of arrangements sooner rather than later so you’re well prepared.
  • Leave any pre-planned funeral arrangements? Setting aside funds to pay for funeral expenses provides peace of mind that money is available for any funeral expenses, removing the burden from your loved ones.

 

Don’t forget!

It’s important that any paperwork or records of your estate planning activities are kept in a safe place and that the executor of your Will or a trusted family member or friend knows where to find this information if something happens to you.

Other useful resources

    Is your estate plan in order?

    Currently around half of all Australians die without a will, leaving their families with a complicated legal process. So if you want your wishes to be carried out, consider these things. (Source: Colonial First State)

    Helping your parents plan for aged care

    If you have ageing parents, they may become increasingly dependent on you for assistance with financial decisions. Here are some things to think about if you're considering aged care. (Source: CommBank)

    Giving to the grandkids

    Gifting money to your grandchildren is a wonderful gesture in helping them towards financial independence. Find out how this can affect your own finances and potentially your Age Pension. (Source: CommBank)