What Is Estate Planning and Why It Is Important
Estate planning is the process of working out the best way to structure your personal and financial affairs while you are alive so that you are looked after during your lifetime. It’s also the process of ensuring your personal possessions and financial assets are distributed the way you want when you die.
There are many reasons why Estate Planning is important. This includes protecting your Will from being contested, providing for your loved ones after you die, minimising tax for your beneficiaries and protecting vulnerable beneficiaries.
Protecting your Will from being Contested
In New South Wales, and all Australian States, people who feel they have been unfairly left out of a Will or dealt with in a Will have the ability to make a claim on the Estate of the deceased.
If the person is considered an eligible person, such as a child or spouse, they can apply to the Court for your Will to be changed so that they receive a greater share.
In Estate Planning this is one of the important areas to address.
An expert Wills and Estates Lawyer will discuss with you all the people who may have a claim on your Estate.
If you do not want to leave an inheritance to any of these people your Will can be drafted to address the reasons that you have left them out of your Will.
These reasons will be taken into account by the Court in the event that your Will is challenged after you are gone.
Minimising taxation issues for your beneficiaries
Estate Planning should also address taxation issues that may occur as a result of your beneficiaries receiving their inheritance. In some cases, this can lead to a Trust being set up to protect their inheritance. It will also deal with any Capital Gains Tax issues and any impact receiving an inheritance may have on your beneficiaries’ entitlement to a pension or Centrelink benefit.
Protecting vulnerable beneficiaries
If you have vulnerable beneficiaries, such as young children or children suffering a disability, Estate Planning can be used to ensure that they are cared for and their inheritance is protected after you are gone.
Your accountant may be able to assist you to deal with the financial aspects of your Estate. But it is your expert Wills and Estates Lawyers who will ensure that your Estate is well planned and protected from possible Will Contests. In addition, your Will and Estate Lawyer will ensure that your Will is valid, binding and to the benefit of your beneficiaries.
How we can help
Our law firm is very experienced with Estate Planning. We can make your Will, redraft it, provide advice, set up a trust, etc.