EOFY - not just about tax

The start of the new financial year isn’t just about getting your tax return in. It’s the perfect time to think about your circumstances and get your estate plan in order — especially if your situation has changed.

Estate planning is the process of planning ahead to make sure your affairs are in place when you pass away or become sick and can no longer manage them yourself. This checklist, from Bridges, our financial planning partner, can help you work out if you need to review your estate plan.

Family

>> Have you had children or grandchildren?

>> If you have had children — do you need to nominate a guardian if something should happen to you?

>> Have you married, remarried, entered into a relationship or divorced?

Beneficiaries

>> Do you have any beneficiaries in your Will that you no longer wish to provide for or who have passed away?

>> Do any of the beneficiaries in your Will have special needs?

Estate administration

>> Is the executor nominated in your Will still appropriate? If you have a complex family structure such as a blended family, a self-managed super fund or a family trust it is important that they are independent and impartial.

Trusts and funds

>> Do you want to make a gift to a charitable organisation?

>> Do you want to provide an education fund for your children or grandchildren?

>> Are you worried that anything you leave to your children may end up going to their spouse in the event of a relationship breakdown? There are ways you can protect your assets by establishing a testamentary trust in your Will.

Legal documents

>> Do you have the correct legal documents in place to nominate someone you trust to look after your financial affairs, make lifestyle and medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to?

If you’re concerned about any of the points above, it’s time to review your estate plan.

Source: Australian Executor Trustees Limited