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Top 10 tips for Estate Planning

  1. Make a will. A will allows you to distribute your estate according to your wishes. You can also avoid the additional costs and delays that may result if you die without a valid will.
  2. Choose your executor wisely. Your executor is responsible for ensuring the administration of your estate is dealt with in a timely and suitable way.
  3. Execute a power of attorney. This allows you to choose a person that you can trust to act on your behalf and look after all or part of your affairs while you are still alive. An enduring power of attorney allows the attorney to continue to act if you lose your mental capacity.
  4. Establish a testamentary trust. By including certain conditions in your will, a testamentary trust can be created after your death to protect your estate’s assets and provide for your beneficiaries tax-effectively.
  5. Complete a binding nomination. If offered by your super fund, a binding nomination may allow you to specify whether you want your death benefit to be paid to your estate and/or to your dependants. Make sure you keep your nomination up to date, as nominations are only valid for three years.
  6. Choose a super fund that makes anti-detriment payments. This could enable your dependants to receive a larger death benefit when your super is paid as a lump sum.
  7. Choose a super fund that can pay pensions. Death benefits paid as a pension may be a tax-effective option for your dependants.
  8. Make sure you leave enough money. To enable your family to pay off debts and meet their living expenses, you may need to take out extra life insurance. This could be purchased through your superannuation fund or you can buy it separately.
  9. Make the right ownership decisions. When you acquire new assets, such as a house or an investment, it’s important for tax and other reasons to consider whether you should invest in your name, your partner’s name, in joint names or via another arrangement, such as a trust or company.
  10. Seek advice. Estate planning is complex and the laws change frequently. We can ensure (with the help of tax and legal professionals) you make the most of your opportunities and provide for your loved ones.

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