The Importance of a Comprehensive Estate Plan

When it comes to the possibility of death or disability it pays to plan ahead& Its more than just writing a Will and it certainly shouldnt be left to the last minute.

Although we may not like to think about it, the emotional impact your death would have on your family and friends is tough enough let alone the addition of financial stress due to ill-planning or no planning at all. There are many considerations to ensure your family has adequate protection and your estate is properly distributed and managed.

Estate planning can often be a complex area to address and the role of the Financial Planner is becoming more and more integral to ensure clients have taken all the appropriate steps. A consultation with a Fortunity Financial Planner can help ensure you have the right arrangements in place both after your death and, in some instances, if you become incapable of making your own financial decisions.

Many discover that developing an Estate Plan has added complexities which will need a great deal of thought, especially in situations such as:

  • When you’ve been married before (and particularly if you have children from a first marriage);
  • If you have children that are still financially dependent;
  • If you run your own business; or
  • If you have a high asset base

These complexities can often to lead to mistakes when thinking about Estate Planning. These mistakes range from under-estimating estate size, ignoring competency issues, dismissing family feuds to forgetting tax planning and using Will kits.

It is therefore important to note that Estate planning is much more than just having a Will in place. In order to have everything ‘in order’ you need to have a comprehensive plan which encompasses the below:

  • Will (including Testamentary Trust provisions where appropriate)
  • Statement of Wishes
  • Medical Power of Attorney / Enduring Guardianship
  • Enduring Power of Attorney
  • Corporate Power of Attorney
  • Insurances
  • Business Arrangements and Succession Planning

As you can see there are many elements to an effective Estate Plan. Given its complexity, it pays to seek professional advice in clarifying and implementing your plan and when appropriate, assisting your family to manage your affairs. Financial Planners are well-placed to help identify your requirements and the assets that will form your estate, usually due to the existing relationship and knowledge of the financial situation and the ability to ask the right questions to make sure everything is covered.

Fortunity offers a comprehensive Estate Planning Service and will work closely with your solicitor or one we recommend to help you get everything in order.

“Shaun at Fortunity recently helped us update our estate planning.  As Shaun already knows all about our financial situation, he was able to advise us and work with the solicitor to ensure everything was covered.  Preparing wills is never a pleasant task, however we feel very comfortable having done this and were very grateful for Shaun’s assistance”. – Fortunity client, Mrs Cook.

If you would like to talk to someone about this service or any other Financial Planning matter please contact Shaun O’Farrell at Fortunity on 02 4304 8888.