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Is it time to create your Estate Plan?

For many, the Estate Planning journey starts with a life-changing or often tragic event within their immediate family circle. Not the best way to plan for the future. In this series of short articles, you’ll get a basic insight into what Estate Planning is all about and work out what you can do to protect yourself and your family.

Why have an Estate Plan?
Estate Planning is about protecting your assets, enabling you to pass on your assets to your family tax effectively and creating a long term generational legacy that will be appreciated by generations to come. 
According to ASIC, just over 50% of Australians have a Will. If you’re one of the lucky ones getting your Will in place is an essential first step.

A Basic Will, however, brings with it many risks given its limited future planning ability. On the other hand, a comprehensive Estate Plan can outline your wishes in greater detail and plan for the unexpected, not provided for in a basic Will.

Why should you build on your basic Will?

Unprotected Minors
A Basic Will does not allow for the comprehensive care of your children when both parents are no longer around. A Testamentary Guardianship (generally not part of a Will) helps provide certainty on who will care for your children if you’re no longer there. 

Blended Families
Some blended family situations can be quite complicated when you merge families. Even with a Will things can go wrong. This can often result in costly court proceedings. Proper Estate Planning ensures that the intended beneficiaries of your estate are fully protected.    
  
Family Disputes
It may surprise you, but 70% of contested estates involve adult children from the family. No matter how close your family is, the possibility is very real, and the actual cost could easily be 25% or more of the estate’s assets. 

No Tax Planning
Another benefit of a carefully planned Estate Plan will be the Capital Gains Tax benefits with tax-effective income splitting.