The new year is the perfect time to get your affairs in order

The start of the new year is the perfect time to think about the future and get your affairs in order particularly if your circumstances have changed.

An estate plan helps you structure your financial affairs, not only for yourself during your lifetime but also for those dearest to you when you're no longer here. The following checklist helps you consider your estate planning needs.

  • Has it been more than five years since you last reviewed your Will?
  • Have you had children or grandchildren? 
  • Have you married, remarried, entered into a relationship or divorced? 
  • Do any of your beneficiaries live overseas? 
  • Is the executor named in your Will still appropriate? 
  • Have you sold your principal residence? 
  • Did you know that superannuation is not usually covered in your Will?
  • Do you have a binding death benefit nomination in your superannuation fund?
  • Have you nominated guardians for any minor children?
  • Have you provided instructions about your funeral?
  • Are you worried that anything you leave to your children may end up going to their spouse in the event of a relationship breakdown? 
  • Do you want to provide an education fund for your children or grandchildren?
  • Do you want to make a gift to any charitable organisation?
  • What documents do you have in place:
    • to look after your financial affairs if you become incapacitated?
    • to allow a trusted family member or friend to make lifestyle and medical decisions in the event you become mentally unable to do so for yourself?
    • in the event you become terminally ill and unable to articulate your wishes?
  • As you can see, estate planning is so much more than just a Will. These are just some of the issues that can be addressed, so, if you've answered 'yes' to, or are concerned about, any of the points above, it's time to consider your estate planning needs.

    Speak to your Bridges financial planner today.