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 simply the process of planning ahead to make sure your financial, medical and lifestyle affairs are in place when you pass away or become sick and can no longer manage them yourself.

This checklist is to 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?
  • Have you sold your principal residence and moved into a retirement village?

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?
  • Have any of your beneficiaries moved overseas? There may be tax implications.

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.
  • Do you need to provide instructions about your funeral?

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 if you become incapacitated?
  • Make lifestyle and medical decisions in the event you become mentally unable to do so?
  • Articulate your wishes if you become terminally ill?

These are just some of the situations that can affect your estate plan. So, if you’re concerned about any of the points above, it’s time to review your estate plan.

Don’t leave it to chance – have a plan in place and make sure your wealth is managed and distributed the way you want. We can work with you and your financial planner to tailor an estate plan to suit your individual circumstances.

For more information please contact your financial adviser or our estate planning lawyers on 1800 882 218.