Traps to avoid in retirement – ignoring estate planning

Don’t have a Will? You’re in good company. Less than half of Australian adults do. Even then, many Wills are out of date or invalid. The upshot is that hard earned wealth may be fought over by family or distributed by government formula, and not end up with the preferred beneficiaries.

It’s also important to remember that Wills are just one component of estate planning, so here’s a quick checklist to help you get your estate planning on the right track.  

  • If you don’t have a Will, make one. Consult a specialist estate planning lawyer. AGS can facilitate an introduction.
  • If you do have a Will, ensure it is up to date and reflects your current wishes. Is your executor willing to take on the role and likely to outlive you?
  • Have enduring and medical powers of attorney drawn up so someone you trust can act on your behalf and make decisions if you are no longer able to do so.
  • Review your superannuation death benefit nomination. Super death benefits can be directed to your estate and distributed under your Will, or they can be paid directly to nominated beneficiaries.
  • Look into pre-paid funerals or funeral bonds. Aside from relieving your family of one burden at a time of great stress, you may see an increase in your age pension payments.

Depending on business and financial structures, family dynamics, pension rules and legal requirements, estate planning can be complex. Your AGS Financial Planner can help you identify the estate planning issues you need to address, and the professionals you may need to consult, to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes and to provide the best outcome for your beneficiaries.

This is the fourth article in the mini series: Traps to avoid in retirement. You can access the first article here, second article here and the third article here.

Published : 27 Jul 2020

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