No one likes thinking about what will happen when you die, but failure to do so means leaving the future of your family to chance. An estate plan will sure up your estate and make sure your legacy is able to benefit the people who matter to you. After all, there’s nothing more important than protecting the futures of the ones you love.
An estate plan is a strategy or plan for how your assets should be distributed after you die. These assets can include everything from your home and savings accounts to your car, furniture and even jewellery. It’s important to note that your super balance and insurance proceeds are not part of your estate by default and will need to be considered separately.
An estate plan ensures that your assets are distributed among the people and organisations of your choosing. It’s essentially a roadmap for how your assets should be dealt with when you’re no longer there to take charge. If you don’t have a will and estate plan in place at the time of your death, your assets will be distributed in line with the intestacy laws of your state.
While many people wait until retirement or beyond, estate planning should be a consideration for every stage of life. This could include everything from acquiring assets, changing insurance and purchasing property to getting married, having kids and even travelling. Basically whenever things in life change, you should have an up-to-date estate plan that reflects those circumstances.
Using an end-to-end solution called Yodal Estate Planning, we can streamline the entire planning process from initial assessment to finalisation. Here are the 4 key steps we’ll go through when planning your estate with Yodal.
To start, a financial advisor will organise a meeting with you to help us understand your circumstances and uncover what’s most important to you. From this initial meeting, we’ll develop some key recommendations that will ensure your wishes are carried out after you’re gone.
Once we’ve compiled these recommendations, we’ll discuss them with you and provide a flat-fee quote for the complete estate plan to be carried out. This quote is inclusive of legal fees. If you’re happy with the plan, we’ll confirm the plan and forward the details to you.
To ensure your estate plan is accurately represented and legally binding, we’ll work with you to coordinate any additional documentation required to make this happen.
Once the estate plan has been drafted, we’ll then send it on to our legal partners for review. From there, the estate planning documentation will be completed and the estate plan executed.
We won’t just give you generic guidance and send you on your way. The two most important components of our business is our staff and clients, so we always put them first.
Whether it’s keeping clients informed of tax changes or spotting opportunities for growth for our clients, we’re always looking for ways to improve.
At the end of the day, we’re here to help you achieve financial goals - whatever they may be. We do this by getting to know you and your situation, then helping you in whatever way you need.
Everyone has a different definition of financial success. That’s why we really listen to our clients, so that every recommendation is aligned to your own unique goals.
A will is a legally binding contract that lays out how your assets should be distributed after you die. In a will, you can also nominate guardians for family members you leave behind. Using a will ensures that your wishes will be carried out and your loved ones will be properly cared for.
An estate plan is the process of planning and arranging the way you would like your assets to be distributed so that it results in the best outcome for your beneficiaries, including tax efficiency and other associated costs. An estate plan can also dictate other matters that are not able to be laid out in your will. An estate plan can encompass your will but may also include other things such as your Power of Attorney, Superannuation, Trusts and other financial assets.
If you were to pass away without an estate plan, this means that you have died intestate and your assets will be distributed according to the legislation of your state. This removes your ability to dictate where and to whom you’d like your assets to be distributed.
In these instances, your next of kin will be required to apply for your estate to be administered.
Updating your estate plan when circumstances change isn’t as difficult as you might think.
To update your estate plan, you’ll simply need to book an appointment with your financial advisor to discuss the changes. Once these have been made, they will be sent off to our legal partners for review and completion.
Depending on what state you live in, there are parameters around who can challenge your will. If you are worried that someone may apply to challenge, we can look at incorporating further elements into your estate plan (i.e. setting up separate trusts, etc) that can safeguard your will from being challenged against your wishes.
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that appoints a person to act on your behalf when it comes to managing property. A Power of Attorney is only legally binding while you are physically and mentally capable of making financial decisions.
An enduring Power of Attorney, on the other hand, has the authority to act on your behalf regardless of your physical or mental capacity.