What is Estate Planning?

Karen Grainger

Making a plan for when your gone, or you can’t make your own decisions is a good idea to make sure your wishes are carried out.

This includes preparing and keeping your will up to date, setting up in your will any testamentary trusts and completing superannuation binding nominations.

It should also cover how you want to be cared for – both medically and financially, when you can’t make your own decisions.

Your estate planning documents should include any powers of attorney, a power of guardianship and advance healthcare directives.

Your will is a legal document stating what is to happen to your assets when you die. It can cover who is to get your assets, who is to look after children, and plans for your funeral.

It is important to keep your will up to date if your situation changes. Getting married voids your will and you will need to prepare a new will.

A binding superannuation nomination directs your super fund trustee as to whom is to receive your super benefit when you die. If you don’t have a nomination, your super fund trustee decides who the money will go to.

Having a power of attorney gives the legal right to someone to look after your affairs for you. It’s important to appoint someone who is trustworthy, knows what they are doing and will be there for you. There are different types of powers of attorney.

You should also consider as part of your estate planning to have certain documents kept in a safe place. This includes your birth certificate, bank account details, superannuation papers and other medical and insurance documents.

In most cases you will require legal advice when preparing these documents but you can still talk to your trusted advisor at GTP for guidance.