Demystifying Estate Planning
You may be considering estate planning or you may not be sure it’s the right thing for you. Even if you wish to undertake the exercise, where do you start? We hope our helpful checklist below provides a good starting point:
Think about what you want to happen.
Before pressing ahead, take the time to consider your wishes and what you want to achieve. This will then form a solid basis for your estate planning and your professional advisers will be able to work with you to achieve these outcomes.
Some important considerations include:
- Who will care for my children if I die before they turn 18?
- How will I divide my estate after my death?
- Who will make decisions on my behalf if I’m sick or injured and unable to do so?
- What type of life-sustaining measures do I want as I near the end of my life?
- How much inheritance tax will be payable in the event of my death and can I mitigate the liability?
While it can be difficult to initiate conversations surrounding death and lack of capacity, this isn’t a reason to avoid them! By talking openly, everyone has a chance to ask questions or voice their thoughts/concerns.
Create your plan
Your circumstances may also require additional documents and planning, which could include:
- Considering your digital assets
- Inheritance tax planning
- Considering what would happen to your business
Consider talking to your loved ones
We appreciate that certain conversations can be difficult, especially with those who are closest to us.
It is important, however, to carefully consider when it may be beneficial to speak to your loved ones about your wishes.
You should ensure your executors, attorneys and trustees know the location of any important financial, medical and personal documents. We also recommend that you lodge a copy of your Health LPA with your G.P.
You may also want to have a written document to detail instructions for post-death plans and requests such as organ donation, funeral arrangements, cremation or medical donation. This document should be shared with loved ones and kept separately from your Will and other estate planning documents in case they aren’t read until after your funeral.
Review your plan and update it regularly
Whilst your estate plan will cover as many eventualities as possible, life often has a habit of throwing us a curveball. There are a number of life events that would require a review of your estate plan and these events include:
- Having children/grandchildren
- A change in financial circumstances, such as receiving an inheritance
Don’t fall at the last hurdle!
Once you have finalised your estate plan and put all the relevant documents in place such as a Will and Lasting Power of Attorney, ensure you keep in mind the following:
- Organise your documents and keep them together.
- Store the original documents in a protected place. Greenwoods GRM can offer a secure storage facility, free of charge.
- Let your attorney and your executor know where the original documents are stored. We provide cards for our clients to give to their executors and attorneys to confirm where the original documents are stored.
- Consider creating electronic copies and storing them digitally.
This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. For advice, get in touch with your usual Greenwoods GRM contact or scroll down to complete our enquiry form.