Financial planning has become an important factor in today’s consumer savvy market. However, people are quick to forget about the importance of future proof asset protection, also known as estate planning.
Estate planning is all about making financial arrangements for the longevity of assets beyond one’s own life, and the control of one’s wealth while alive, which is just as essential as your day to day financial management.
An estate refers to both literal and personal property owned by a person under their name, such as finances, homes, apartments, motor vehicles or contents. Estate planning allows individuals to arrange the transfer or distribution of their ‘estate’ after the instance of their death. The idea of estate planning allows the individual to decide exactly who will benefit from all assets owned at the time of their death and to what extent.
In most instances, estate planning includes discretionary and/or testamentary trusts. Also included in this process is the creation of a will. These trusts and wills are established by an individual whilst alive in an effort to appropriately distribute their property and finances. While wills are not a legal requirement, it is preferable to establish a breakdown of where they want their assets to go in the event of their passing. Those who do not create a will or trust with identified beneficiaries, risk having no say in what happens in terms of their final affairs after their death.
If minor children (aged under 18) are involved, planning your estate is important to establish your final wishes for the children, such as who will be their caregiver and what areas of your estate will go to them when they reach the appropriate age. Minor children are unable to make any decisions regarding your estate so appointing a power of attorney to make these decisions on your behalf or until the children are old enough is encouraged.
The process of estate planning can include many different groups, from family members to professionals such as lawyers, financial advisers, accountants and representatives for insurance. While you are able to create a will and plan arrangements for your estate on your own, gaining professional advice can ensure that all of your assets are covered, and the necessary people are taken care of after your passing.
At Financial Architects, we can use our knowledge to assist you in ensuring your assets and investments are protected while you are alive, and that a transfer of your estate will flow seamlessly for the beneficiaries upon your passing. To reassess the protection of your current assets and for help obtaining future assets, book an appointment with one of our advisers today and start your journey to achieving happiness in wealth.