Watch your will power

From the simplest will to complex estate planning, making a will is one of the greatest acts of love you can carry out for your family.
 
By making a will you are protecting the interests of your loved ones and freeing them from financial worries at a time of emotional distress.
 
Estate planning involves more than just making a will. Not only should we review our will from time to time, but also our insurances (personal and property), our “virtual” assets and the entities that

protect our assets, such as companies and trusts.

Retirement involves different considerations from that of young families. Ensure sufficient life insurance is in place to pay out any remaining mortgages or other debts and that adequate provision has been

made for any dependant adult children who are unable to care completely for themselves.  Ensure that your wishes for the distribution of the estate (i.e. specific gifts such as family heirlooms, treasured

jewellery pieces and artworks) are dealt with

Your superannuation fund must have the necessary death nominations in place. Many lapse after three years.

Ensure that your self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), if applicable, has suitable succession strategies in place.

Ensure tax effectiveness in estate distribution, including implementing testamentary trusts for grandchildren.

Have an enduring power of attorney for the management of your affairs in case you can’t.

Have an advanced health directive providing guidance for your future health care in case of accident or stroke.

Whether your estate plan is still relevant to your current situation is a recurring question, in particular, if your circumstances have changed.

Dr John de Groot is Special Counsel at de Groots wills and estate lawyers. Visit degroots.com.au