Estate Planning Is More Than Just a Will; Schultz Toomey O'Brien Lawyers' Partner Cec O'Dea Outlines Crucial Issues Involved

Article excerpt

AN estate plan involves more than just deciding how to distribute assets upon your death.

Even a very basic estate plan involves a consideration of the preparation of your will, power of attorney and an advance health directive.

Often people are unaware of the crucial issue of what assets their will actually controls or governs.

A will only governs assets owned solely by an individual at the date that person dies.

Assets not controlled by a person's will can be significant and include any asset owned jointly with another person, assets owned in a family company, assets held within a family trust, the proceeds of any life insurance policy paid direct to the beneficiary (owner) of the policy and superannuation benefits.

People are often surprised to learn that their superannuation (even if the superannuation fund is self managed) is not caught by their will.

This is also the case even if you are drawing on your superannuation as part of any retirement plan.

An estate plan needs to carefully consider how your superannuation will be distributed upon death as increasingly, substantial assets are being held in superannuation funds.

Additionally, superannuation funds often offer life insurance cover to members of the fund, so your superannuation will include not only monies paid into your super account by you or your employer but any insurance component as well. …


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