In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes. (Benjamin Franklin)
However, 45% of Australians do not have a valid will.* While not always easy to talk about, estate planning is a critical part of any financial plan. Jason Laming, Blueprint Wealth financial advisor, shares the top four estate planning myths he comes across. The video transcript is available below for your convenience.
My name is Jason Laming. I am a Financial Advisor at Blueprint Wealth.
Today, I am going to share the top four estate planning myths.
None of us likes to dwell on our own mortality so it’s no surprise many of us put off making a will. When we ask our clients if they have a will, most respond they know they need one and should have sorted this out many years ago, they just haven’t got around to it yet.
While not always popular or easy to talk about – it is a crucial part of any financial plan.
“I don’t need a will as I have no assets.”
It is rare that a person will have nothing of value. You may own a car, jewellery, furniture, or have some money in the bank. Often you will have life insurance as part of your superannuation which can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“I think I’ll just tell someone what I want to happen.”
Verbalising your wishes is not legally binding and can create conflict if the person you told your wishes can’t enforce them.
“I already have a will.”
That’s great! How current is it and does it reflect your current circumstances and wishes?
Have you had children or have they now grown up and given you grandchildren? Have you chosen beneficiaries who have since passed away?
Have you been married or divorced since you put your will in place? Both of these can invalidate a will.
Does it protect your loved one’s inheritance from future divorce or bankruptcy and how have tax implications been considered?
“I thought everything just goes to my spouse or next of kin.”
Dying without a will – what happens in this case?
“Dying Intestate” – this is where a person dies without leaving a will, or leaving a will which, for some reason, doesn’t deal with all their property (estate).
If this is the case, the state has the authority to decide how your estate will be handled and this usually will not reflect how you want your estate handled and can take longer.
Being prepared could go a long way in preventing disputes arising should family members be made to divide assets among themselves or make other hard decisions on your behalf. By preparing a Will, at least you know your family and loved ones will be protected when you’re not around.
Think about estate planning sooner rather than later. Because you never know what’s around the corner.
Estate Planning Tips
- Put a valid Will in place
- Put an enduring power of attorney in place
- Ensure your binding nominations are in place
- Choose an executor to help carry out your wishes when you’re gone
Estate planning can be a complex area and there could be legal and tax implications if you don’t set things up correctly and understand the fine print.
For these reasons, it’s very important to speak to a legal professional and your financial advisor before making any decisions and signing on any dotted lines.
I hope you have found this information useful. Thanks for watching!
Jason Laming is an authorised representative and credit representative of AMP Financial Planning. Blueprint Planning Pty Ltd (ABN 78 097 264 554), trading as Blueprint Wealth, is an Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited, Australian Financial Services Licensee and Australian Credit Licensee 232 706.
This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.
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