Estate Planning Vs Writing A Will

Your estate is the total of everything you own, including money, assets, investments, property and debts. Your will is the documentation that outlines what you want to happen to all of those things when you die. Whilst a will is an important tool, estate planning is about so much more than just making a will.

Why do I need a will?

A will enables you to specify how you want your assets distributed after you die, including money, property, investments, and family heirlooms, as well as considerations such as:

  • how you want your assets shared
  • who will look after any minor children
  • any trusts you want to set up
  • how much money you'd like to give to charities
  • plans for your funeral

For many people a simple online form or a DIY will is enough to protect them. But in my experience, most people's lives are more complicated than they give themselves credit for and considerably more deserving of a big-picutre view than a simple will provides.

What happens if I don't have a will?

If you die 'intestate' (without a valid will) your assets will be distributed in line with the rules of intestacy. This means the Supreme Court will be left to decide who inherits your estate or acts as guardian for any minor children. If you don’t have surviving relatives closer than a first cousin, your assets will become the property of the government.

What makes Estate Planning different?

Like any kind of planning, estate planning gives you the chance to focus on the things that are important to you; your family, succession, asset protection, gifting etc Every post-death mission is different, and you deserve having the time to create a plan that adequately reflects that.

As professionals we're able to help you navitage and offer guidance around:

  • gifting within blended families or to step-children
  • your legal obligations to take care of particular people
  • who to choose as guardians for minor children
  • how to protect your gifts through the creation of trusts
  • funeral arrangements and organ donation
  • protections if you're unwell or incapacitated
  • managing your business or other investments if you are unable to
  • effectively gifting to charities or other beneficiaries
  • distributing superannuation death benefits and/or life insurance

From there we will create a series of documents (including a will) that takes care of your family, finances and is legal obligations.

The Benefits of Estate Planning

 What documents are included in an estate plan?

Along with a comprehensive, personalised legal will, your Estate Plan will include an Advance Care Directive (nominating the person(s) responsible for making decisions around your living and health care if you're alive but incapacitated) and an Enduring Power of Attorney (nominating the person(s) responsible for making financial decisions if you're alive but incapacitated).

We're also able to refer you to our team of trusted accountants, financial advisers, conveyancers, property agents and other support providers for additional advice.

Life coaching in reverse

Many of our clients tell us estate planning is better than therapy! Unlike guessing what life will look like many years down the track estate planning gives you the opportunity to look at your life right now; the people or things that are important to you, what you want your legacy to be,  - and figure out what you need to keep doing, or do differently to make sure those things happens.

We understand many people make decisions about their end of life based on fear, hurt and/or trauma - using their will as a weapon. Often these decisions have far reaching legal ramifications that impact the people you leave behind and don't actually meet your overarching values.

Estate planning allows you to do life (and death) differently.

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