Estate planning: a checklist
Making sure the future is financially secure for you and the people close to you goes beyond planning for retirement. None of us like to think about what will happen when we pass away, but you can help make sure that your wishes are carried out by planning ahead.
While it’s possible for a legal will to be contested, setting out your wishes clearly and with the help of a legal professional can make contesting difficult.
Keep in mind that a will won’t cover assets that you own with someone else as a joint tenant. The surviving tenant will automatically get ownership of your share.
You can amend your will if your circumstances change, such as when you marry, divorce or welcome the arrival of children or grandchildren. Small changes can be made using a legal document called a codicil. If you want to make substantial changes, it’s a good idea to create a new will.
Life insurance policies outside super generally let you nominate who should receive the benefit if the life insured passes away. There could be multiple parties involved - typically the life insured, the policy owner, the person paying the policy premiums and the beneficiary. It’s common for these parties to be one individual, but not essential.
If you are the policy owner and don’t nominate a beneficiary, the benefit will be paid to your estate. If the benefit amount is $50,000 or more there is a legal requirement to provide Probate or LOA before the benefit can be paid. These are legal documents proving that the executor is authorised to manage your affairs.
Things to know before you Can:
This document contains general advice only. It does not take account of your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider talking to a financial planner before making a financial decision.
Taxation considerations are general and based on present taxation laws and may be subject to change. You should seek independent, professional tax advice before making any decision based on this information.
While care has been taken in the preparation of this document, no liability is accepted by Commonwealth Financial Planning, ABN 65 003 900 169, AFSL 231139, its related entities, agents and employees for any loss arising from reliance on this document.