Estate Planning - distributing your assets to the right people


What is estate planning?

Many people see estate planning as simply putting in place a will.  The will is a very important part of the Estate Planning process but we see Estate planning as a lifelong process in which you regularly evaluate your situation and plan for the future disbursement of your assets.  A will is a key part of the estate planning process but other areas include planning for your retirement, for the possibility of disability, and for death.

The estate planning process requires that you consider a wide range of legal, financial, emotional, and logistical issues. Estate planning can be a positive experience, since it involves reviewing your situation and planning for your future. Although most people also find it unpleasant to think about the possibility of disability or death, advance planning is also a way to show your love and to reduce potential distress to your beneficiaries later.

In other words, estate planning is a process of assisting you in accumulating, conserving, distributing and ensuring that the estate reaches your nominated beneficiaries.  The more complex your situation the more time needs to be invested in developing a comprehensive estate plan that reflects your wishes and the relationships required to execute it properly. The complexity of your estate plan ultimately, depends on the size of your estate, the number of interrelated entities and how comprehensive your needs are in the distribution of these assets.


The Importance of Estate Planning

A lifetime of commitment and hard-work goes into the successful accumulation of a sizable estate.  In time, the estate grows in size, worth and complexity due to the number of structures and range of investments used to generate the wealth.  However, the value of the estate can be substantially reduced due to lack of planning in key areas such as tax implications, transition of control in business and family investment structures, debt repayments and additional legal fees. Thus, the importance of estate planning is critical in the efficient distribution of wealth to the intended beneficiaries.

IWP has an extensive range of estate planning solutions to meet your needs.

Click here to have a financial planner contact you.

There are some things that always need consideration:

  • Regular reviews, particularly when life changing events occur.  Your will, powers of attorney and life insurance need to be reviewed and updated regularly to take into account changes in your circumstances and relationships such as death, divorce, marriage, children, your nominated beneficiaries, executors and guardians.
  • Personal insurance need regular reviews to cover dependants, mortgages and income.
  • If you have children, ensure proper guardianship arrangements are in place to look after their wellbeing.
  • If you run a business and have major changes to the structure, directors or partners you need to review your will to ensure that these changes are reflected.


Protecting assets

  • If you run your own business you need to ensure that your assets are protected from creditors upon your death.
  • Comprehensive estate planning is the securest, lowest risk way of protecting the intrinsic value of assets during the estate distribution process.  Estate planning allows the efficient transfer of wealth to future generations so that with the right strategies and advice they can continue to grow wealth.
  • Problems associated with the lack of sufficient income provision for heirs is avoided.  The integration of the estate planning process with a well planned retirement plan helps reduce taxes and avoids costly restructuring or sale of assets to meet debts or living expenses.  The integration of life insurance and other assets can help with the even distribution of estate assets to beneficiaries.


Leaving the maximum amount to your beneficiaries

  • Estate planning should be an integrated part of one's personal wealth-building strategy.  Wills ensure that the property is distributed according to the individual's wishes instead of the government.
  • Estate planning preserves the maximum amount of wealth for the benefit of your loved ones by minimising taxes, estate settlement costs, legal and administration fees and claims on the estate from creditors and other parties.



Efficient estate distribution to reduce costs and maximise value

  • Estate planning avoids delays in the distribution of assets to beneficiaries as the executors know how and who the assets are to be distributed.
  • Sufficient liquidity is provided to cover estate settlement costs.
  • An orderly business ownership transfer is structured thus avoiding costly legal costs and interruption to the business.
  • The family's present standard of living is maintained through the efficient distribution of assets and adequate provision of income.  Issues associated with the transfer of ownership or disposal of business interests can be discussed and an agreed action plan built into the estate plan.
  • Once the estate plan is documented a regular review can enable adjustments to be made to reflect any changes in assets, structures, beneficiaries and executors.


IWP has an extensive range of personal insurance solutions to meet your needs.


Click here to have a financial planner contact you.


Christopher Lord, trading as Integrated Wealth Planning is an Authorised Representative of Charter Financial Planning Limited ABN 35 002 976 294 AFS License No. 234665, member of the AMP Group. Registered Office: AXA Australia Centre, 750 Collins Street (PO BOX 2830) Melbourne Vic 3001.

Information provided on this website is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate. Individuals must not rely on this information to make a financial or investment decision.  Before making any decision, we recommend you consult a financial planner to take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and individual needs.