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Making A Will

Planning Your Estate
Making A Will
Irrespective of our age, very few of us likes to contemplate the prospect of our own death. Consequently, a large proportion of Australians simply don't get around to preparing a Will, nor giving due consideration to the long term impact that this complacency may have on the future for our loved-ones.

Financial protection

Making out a Will is an essential means of giving your family some financial protection on your demise. A Will is also the most reliable way of ensuring that your favourite nephew get's that stamp collection of yours that he's shown so much interested in.

Importantly, your Will can also offer your estate and your beneficiaries protection from any tax liabilities that you may have - and from any of your creditors.

Taxation

Careful consideration of how your assets are distributed in your Will is the way to minimise tax liabilities.

You can, of course, minimise your beneficiaries' exposure to tax from your inheritance is to create a trust that will enable you to pass ownership of your assets to the trust while you are still alive with contingency plans on how those assets are do be divided when you die.

An accountant or lawyer can help you understand the potential tax implications of your particular circumstances and advise you as to the best ways to plan your Will to minimise these liabilities.

Creditors

In order to protect your estate from debt collectors and credit agencies, you can use your Will to specify exactly how outstanding debt, funeral costs and legal costs ares to be handled on your death.

It's possible to minimise your family's exposure to debt by avoiding having your credit cards or loans in joint names with your spouse or partner where possible.

If you are not likely to leave much behind in the way of assets, it's not unusual for creditors to forgive the debt - but this won't be the case if the debt is in joint names with your partner.

Writing your Will

There are basically two ways that you can make out a Will. You can consult a Lawyer or you can do it yourself.

Whatever way you choose to do it, give some thought to who you might nominate as Executor of your Will.

If you are appointing a family member as Executor, you might also consider nominating a second, independent executor such as your accountant or lawyer.

Remember, your Will does not need to be too complicated and it will need updating regularly in order to meet the needs of your changing situation.


Important: Financial Services Online is a referral service. We provide general information only and we do not offer financial advice. We refer all insurance, finance and other enquiries that are initialted on this and our associated websites to specialist advisers who are licensed in their respective fields. You should always seek professional advice before making important financial decisions.
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