What is Estate Planning?
Often when people hear the term “Estate Planning” they immediately think about death and dying, hushed voices – and sadly in some cases, family tug-of-wars over real estate and other assets. But we’re here to tell you – Estate Planning is actually a positive and proactive topic – it is about Protection, Organisation, and Life – and the excellent living of it!
Estate Planning is a process that assists you to accumulate and make the most of your assets, as well as ensure they are transferred later as you intended.
Estate Plans revolve around these essential documents:
- A valid Will
- An Enduring Power of Attorney, often referred to as an EPA or EPoA.
This appoints a person, called your ‘Attorney’, the legal power to conduct your financial affairs for you. This can include, accessing bank accounts and paying bills.
- An Enduring Power of Guardianship, often referred to as an EPG or EPoG.
This documentation appoints a person, called your ‘Guardian, the legal power to conduct your medical and residential affairs on your behalf. This can include, where you live or are hospitalised, your care team, what treatments you have access to, etc…
- A valid Superannuation Beneficiary Nomination
This is your instructions to the trustees of your superannuation fund, telling them who you want your death benefit to go to. Some beneficiaries receive your benefit tax-free, others do not.
- A Succession Plan for your business
There are more documents involved with Estate Planning, and the above are the essentials.
Why is it necessary?
Estate Planning is a way of ensuring your wealth is protected and distributed to those you choose. It can also protect your chosen beneficiaries from struggling against external claims on your assets. While you cannot prevent an external claim being made, there are processes within DBA’s Estate Planning that will help reduce the possibilities.
When the planning is performed efficiently, it is a way of minimising tax (including Capital Gains Tax) which can eat massive holes in people’s financial legacy – severely reducing what you’ve left to your loved ones. Correct structuring of your Estate Plan can actually maximise the value of your estate.
When should you contact an Estate Planning Specialist?
Because Estate Planning assists you with accumulating and organising your assets – now is the time to start. DBA Accountants can assist you – simply give us a call. We have experience working with young adults right through to seniors.
Who should organise your Estate Planning?
A specialist! Why? Estate Planning is a very complex process in general – but not for you! DBA Accountants have worked very hard to make it as easy and streamlined as possible for our clients. Your goals and needs are at the heart of the process, and we promise to meet them while maximising your estate for your enjoyment, and protect it for those you wish to pass it onto.
How can DBA Accountants assist you with Estate Planning?
We suggest you invest in and read “First you live…” by Murray Davey, former DBA Director. That way you will have a good understanding of your options when it comes to Estate Planning.
Or simply contact DBA Accountants today – we are here to help with any of your Estate Planning needs. Our unique system takes each ‘life stage’ into account. You can have peace of mind that all of your questions will be listened to, discussed, and the answers acted upon according to your wishes.
And while we’re on the subject of ‘questions’ – Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself so you can be ready to plan for your ‘now’ and ‘future’. Here at DBA Accountants these questions are known as ‘The Big Questions’.
- What is my ideal balance, now and in the future, of: work and leisure; family, friends, self and community; physical and spiritual; material and non-material; public and private duty?
- Am I achieving this balance? What should I change? What do I have the power to change? What must I accept?
- What income do I need to support the style of life my family and I desire? How can I guarantee that income?
- What store of assets must I accumulate to finance my/our living needs after I cease or reduce my paid work?
- Who depends on me? Who do I need to protect? How can I do this?
- How can I accumulate more assets and pay less tax – and do this legally, morally and ethically? And how may I protect these assets from predators?
- How should my estate be distributed when I die?
- Who can I trust to advise me on these delicate and intensely personal issues?
We can answer the last question straight away: Assisting you to identify your specific issues and planning strategies on how to deal with them, is what we do at DBA Accountants. Let us help you today.