The 5 Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes you must avoid!

Estate planning is one of the most important things you can do to protect your legacy and family’s wellbeing long term. With as many as one in every two Australians not having a valid Will, ensuring your assets are allocated, legacy safe-guarded and family is protected should be a top priority.

By Trent Doughty  |  29 Oct 2020

Wrapping your head around estate planning can be confusing and take some time, if at any point you have questions around how this relates to you, your family or your business please get in contact with your Client Director, or if you’re not a Kelly+Partners Client, give us a call on 1300 932 584

MISTAKE 1

Estate Planning is not something you can set and forget

If you think your Will is something you can organise then never think about again - you'd be wrong. Keeping your estate planning affairs up to date is just as vital as organising them in the first place.  Records need to be kept, reviews need to be carried out and your estate planning strategies revisited regularly.

It is recommended that you review your estate plans and Will, at least once every two years. 

It is said, that the only certainties in life are Death and taxes. Our experience suggests that a third certainty exists for us all and that's change. 

It's essential that you get your estate planning affairs reviewed professionally on a regular basis. Every asset purchase or sale, tax law change, etc will have estate planning ramifications. For these and many other reasons change can undermine your estate plan unless a systematic review process is put in place.

MISTAKE 2

Thinking Taxes no longer apply!

Most people don't know the history behind death taxes and duties - that's fair enough! With Death Duties no longer existing, don't fall into the trap of thinking deceased estates are tax-free. Your estate may be subject to tax, so factoring this into your planning is essential. 

With proper planning your affairs can be structured in a way to reduce taxes. A simple Will may not suffice. However, with a qualified estate planner, you'll be made aware of strategies to minimise tax and maximise your assets and sum. 

MISTAKE 3

Not getting the right advice from the right accountant

Thinking all financial experts do the same thing is a common mistake when it comes to estate planning. For example, while most lawyers could put together a simple Will, not all lawyers will have the training or additional skills and expertise to advise on estate planning strategies. 

Getting your estate planning affairs in order means so much more than just signing your Will. The following actions must also be included: 

  • Researching your asset position and recognising any tax implications 
  • Ensuring your insurance arrangements are dealt with appropriately 
  • Examining your income tax position and structures 
  • Professionally considering your asset protection needs and the tax circumstances of your beneficiaries 

Only after all of the above steps have been completed and considered can it be assured that your Will and other estate documentation will effectively do what you want them to do.

The process requires a collaboration of your legal, financial and taxation advisers. If you haven't discussed your estate planning with your announcement, please get in contact with your Client Director or if you're not a K+P Client, give us a call on 1300 932 584. 

Generally the potential tax savings for the estate far exceed to cost of having the job done by experts. Your financial advisers and accounting team are in the best position to help you orchestrate the collaboration which will be necessary to achieve the best result.

MISTAKE 4

Thinking Estate Planning is a one-step process - do you know what can and can't be included in your Will? 

Most people think that signing a Will is all you need to do to effectively arrange your estate planning affairs. This puts excessive amount of power in the hands of a Will as your Will doesn’t automatically control the distribution of all wealth death.

Not all assets can be included in your Will, the following assets may need some extra consideration when it comes to your estate plans: 

  • Jointly held property e.g. shares, real estate, joint bank accounts 
  • Assets held in trusts 
  • Shares in private companies may include clauses that impact gifting shares 
  • Business partnership property 
  • Superannuation
  • Life insurance policy proceeds

 

MISTAKE 5

It can not wait 

Thinking your Will and estate plan is something you can put off and something that can wait is the greatest mistake of all. 

Beyond the peace of mind that comes with having everything in order and knowing your legacy, assets and family will be looked after, organising your estate plan also has tangible benefits too - like minimising Capital Gains tax. 

Proper planning, regular review, access to good ongoing advice and the exercise of care in keeping records is a great comfort to most people relieves most people. 

To get your estate plans in order with a K+P expert call 1300 932 584 or contact your Client Director today! 

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