People talk about 'estate planning', can't this just be doing a Will from the post office?
Top answer provided by:
The short answer is no, you cannot just ‘do’ estate planning through a Will from the post office. A common misconception is that Estate Planning is only about creating a Will, this is not correct. Estate Planning also encompasses areas such as Superannuation, Powers of Attorney and possibly Testamentary trusts.
As financial advisers, we always recommend clients to see a solicitor to flush out things which may have been overlooked. For instance, things a solicitor will clarify include:
- · Executor responsibilities and who could be a one
- · Validity of a Will – What makes a will valid
- · Ownership of assets – Joint names or tenants in common
- · Previous relationships - Potential claims against the estate
- · Superannuation and insurance nominations – Binding vs non-binding
- · Loans and Gifts – Who needs to be paid out
- · Guardians and Testamentary trusts – How do they work together
Many of these areas are complex and everyone’s circumstances are different, in most cases, a Will kit simply does not cut the mustard.
The reality is that most of us think about Estate planning because we would like to have more certainty in the event disaster strikes. Using a Will kit gives a false sense of security, and it could create more uncertainty when the time comes. With a Will kit, you won’t know if it is going to do what you want it to, until your family needs to actually use it.
Finally, a Will is only one of the vehicles which can be used for estate planning, there are other vehicles available to manage your estate and their use will depend on your individual circumstances.
Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned tax…
While the Adviser Ratings Website facilitates the question and answer functionality, all such communications are between users and authorised financial advisers, of which Adviser Ratings has no affiliation. Adviser Ratings is not the advice provider and does not provide financial product advice and only provides information that is general in nature.