You should start thinking about how your assets are to be passed to your loved ones when the time comes. There are two main advantages in starting this rather tedious process now. Yes, as you already know, estate planning ensures that your wishes are fulfilled after you pass away. What you probably don’t realize is that taxes can be minimized with a well-prepared estate plan.
Estate planning to ensure proper management and distribution of property
When you are ready to discuss matters of importance with experienced family law lawyers in Townsville, don’t go to the room ill-prepared. You might hesitate thinking you don’t have a considerable wealth to pass on. Estate planning is not only for the gilded. You don’t have to be worth millions and own a six-car garage. If you have properties and you want to pass them on to the right people, then do something now to ensure that they will be managed and distributed well. Property rights die with the deceased. Without an estate plan and a valid will, who knows what will happen to the assets you’ve worked very hard to acquire?
Main elements of estate planning
Now that you have decided to tackle the matter directly, it’s useful to know at the very outset what you need to accomplish. The three main areas to address are the inheritance, life insurance, and end of life care. Your possessions must go somewhere. The heirs should be protected by the right documents. Talk to your lawyer about pertinent laws governing the land on this matter.
If you are a breadwinner, finalize beneficiaries in your life insurance policies and make sure the people you will leave behind will have a financial cushion when you are gone. You may not feel comfortable discussing arrangements for your remains in the event of death, but you’d have to come to terms with it sooner or later. End of life care arrangements must be established as well.
Looking after your family with a valid will
A will takes effect when the person who made it dies. In Australia, you can call a trusted solicitor to help you draft it. To prepare to write your will, make an inventory of your assets. There are assets that cannot be passed from you onto another person. For instance, you cannot include in a will the property owned as joint tenants, assists from insurance funds, and assets held in trusts and family corporations. The will must be updated periodically to include new acquisitions. Similarly, sold assets should be removed from the list.
A probate court will validate a will and there may be a need for your loved ones to attend court proceedings. What if there is no will left behind? The court will act and decide how to manage your property.
Estate planning discussions would mostly be between you and your lawyer. Yet, you must realize the potential contributions of your loved ones in the discussions. By keeping an open line of communication, your heirs would be encouraged to ask questions about the plan.