Estate Planning Experts Canberra | Farrar Gesini Dunn
What is an estate plan?
Estate planning involves the organisation of a person’s legal and financial affairs so that your assets are distributed to your intended beneficiaries in an orderly and tax-effective manner.
A properly constructed estate plan involves the integration of all your legal and financial matters.
What are the components of an estate plan?
A properly constructed estate plan involves the following:
• Will: A will is the central part of any estate plan. It sets out how you want your assets to be distributed and can be as straightforward or comprehensive a document as necessary.
• Power of Attorney: Your power of attorney operates in circumstances before death where you may be suffering from either a temporary or permanent legal disability and are unable to make decisions for yourself.
• Testamentary Trust: A testamentary trust can be used in conjunction with a will to provide for ongoing control of your assets after death. It may be used when there is a concern that the assets are at risk of dissipation through blending of families, divorce or legal proceedings involving your children.
• Superannuation: This does not form part of your estate but it should be considered as part of your estate plan. There will be some occasions where a superannuation death benefit should be paid to your estate and others where it is more beneficial for the superannuation to be paid directly to your nominees.
• Financial Goals and Insurance: This is included for completeness so that all matters relating to your financial affairs, including insurance, are taken into account and are not forgotten.
Who is my executor?
The executor is the person who administers and carries out the terms of your will. The appointment of an executor is done as a term of your will. Your will creates a trust and your executor of the estate is the person who holds the estate in trust. That person becomes the trustee for the deceased estate trust. The executor is responsible for administering the deceased estate in the best interest of the beneficiaries of the estate.