What is the value of Estate Planning Advice?

Thursday, July 23, 2020

There are many important steps you can take to secure your investments for the future. A Will, Power of Attorney, Investment Strategies and Taxation considerations all position us for control over the future of our investments.

Ensuring you have a current Will and Power of Attorney in place is foundational to the security of your Estate and can be arranged via your solicitor. Having a clear description of who you intend your investments, and assets to go to, can make a difficult time so much easier and straightforward for your family.  When there is no Will in place it makes the process protracted, complicated and expensive for your beneficiaries. A Will states your ‘Executor’ who is essentially the administrator of your wishes and acts in communication with your solicitor to arrange the legal disbursement of your assets. Prior thought to your Power of Attorney is also vital – this is the person, or persons, you give permission to sign papers on your behalf while you are still alive, in the event you are unable to do so yourself. 
 
From a portfolio investment point of view there are some important estate planning actions you can take to define the beneficiaries of your investments. In regard to your superannuation investments for example, these are not considered part of your Estate and are actually under the direction of the Trustee of your Superannuation Fund. Therefore the only way to secure the future of your Superannuation investments is via a ‘Binding Nomination’.  This is a legally binding document that states your intended beneficiaries who can only be your spouse, children, or a dependant. This is also a way to place your superannuation under the direction of your Legal Representative (a solicitor) which then makes it part of your Estate. Not having a binding nomination will also make the disbursement of your Superannuation complicated and protracted and at the decision of the Trustee of the Fund. 
 
In addition, there are tax implications to be considered keeping your future in mind.  Differences in tax implications in relation to Superannuation, Pensions and Ordinary Monies can not only affect your current income and capital growth but also what happens to your investments when you pass.  A Will also offers more options in the transfer of your investment strategy to your beneficiaries. For example, the investments may be able to remain invested as they are with your beneficiaries receiving any advantages.
 
These are all matters of extreme value to your current investment strategies and future options for family and beneficiaries. It wise to seek advice on these matters from an experienced financial planner and your solicitor. 
 
This document was prepared without taking into account any person’s particular objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not guaranteed as accurate or complete and should not be relied upon as such. Maher Digby Securities Pty Ltd does not accept any responsibility for the opinions, comments, forward looking statements, and analysis contained in this document, all of which are intended to be of a general nature. Investors should, before acting on this information, consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to their personal objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend consulting a financial advisor

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