Life goes on, even when you are no longer around …
What happens to your assets, liabilities and family when you pass? Estate Planning looks at developing a strategy that will give you a level of control ‘from the grave’ – to achieve the outcomes you wish in the event of death or incapacity.
You want to establish these legal documents to set up your estate plan:
- Your Will – this is the central part of your Estate Planning. It sets out how you wish for your assets and liabilities to be dealt with. It takes away the ‘admin’ side of your death, which helps when your family is already dealing with the grief of your passing.
Without a Will, you die ‘intestate’, which means you risk your assets being given away in ways you do not want, to people you may not like.
- Power of Attorney (POA) – this is a document that allows you to give power to another person to act for you with regards to your assets. Your ‘attorney’ can operate your bank account, buy and sell property on your behalf and even give money away, on your behalf. This power can operate immediately or at a specific time, for example, if you lose capacity. A PoA ceases to have any effect when you pass.
- Enduring Guardian – this document allows another person to make medical decisions on your behalf. These decisions can include saying yes or no to life support, medication or treatment. Like the PoA, this can operate immediately or at a specific point in time. This document also ceases to have any effect when you pass.
- Testamentary Trust – this is used in conjunction with your Will when necessary. It provides you with ongoing control and protection over your assets after death. This is extremely effective in particular situations such as divorces, blended families, and legal proceedings involving your children.
Without proper Estate Planning, your loved ones will likely face big tax burdens, delayed administration issues, along with having to deal with the emotional trauma of your death. The Courts can also decide how your assets are divided … and even who gets to raise your children.
Effective Estate Planning makes sure you are taken care of in this lifetime… and that your loved ones and what’s important to you is taken care when you go into the next lifetime.
Succession Planning for your business
Just like Estate Planning, Succession Planning applies to your business, especially family-owned businesses, if you want your business to continue and succeed in your absence. Succession Planning is a strategy for passing on leadership roles (often the ownership of the company) to an employee, partner or beneficiary.
Why plan your exit strategy?
One of the key areas of our services to business owners is to develop an exit strategy plan to ensure your surviving family is taken care of and your business continues to thrive. This in particular is essential in the event of death or incapacity of a business owner/partner or a key employee, when liquidity and funding may present themselves as a challenge.
At Wealth of Advice, we have the tough conversations with you in advance to best plan for the unexpected. Our goal is for you to have your say now on what happens to your estate, wealth and legacy after all the hard work you’ve put in all these years.