Importance of Estate Planning
Estate planning is the collection of preparation tasks that serve to manage an individual’s asset base in the event of their incapacitation or death, including the bequest of assets to heirs and the settlement of estate taxes. Most estate plans are set up with the help of an attorney experienced in estate law.
A will is a legal document that sets out how you want the things you own to be distributed when you die. Wills aren’t just for people who own property or have lots of money. Making a will is a positive step you can take to:
- provide for the people you care about
- leave particular items to certain people
- appoint a person you trust to carry out the instructions in your will (your executor)
- leave any other instructions you may have (for example, about your funeral arrangements)
- make a gift to charity if you wish.
Why do I need a Will?
If you don’t have a will, you don’t have any say about how your estate is distributed. If you die without a will (known as ‘dying intestate’) your estate will be distributed to your relatives according to a legal formula (called the ‘intestacy rules’). This could be very different from what you wanted or intended to happen. Dying ‘intestate’ can also cause complications, delays and extra costs for those you leave behind. If you die intestate and you don’t have any relatives closer than a first cousin, your estate will go to the government.
Power of attorney
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document in which the principal (you) designate another person (called the agent or attorney in fact) to act on your behalf to make all decisions, in specified matters or in all matters.
Special circumstances may trigger the need for a POA for any person over the age of 18. For example, military personnel may create a POA before they deploy overseas, leaving behind their families, so that someone can act on their behalf should they become incapacitated.
Incapacity isn’t the only reason you might need a POA. Younger people who travel a great deal might set up a POA so that someone could handle their affairs, especially if they have no spouse to do so in their absence.
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
The most common type of Power of Attorney is an enduring Power of Attorney. This means that if the person making the Power of Attorney (“the principal”) was to become of unsound mind, the Power of Attorney is still effective and the attorney can continue to manage the principle’s assets for them. In order for a Power of Attorney to be enduring a Certificate, which forms part of the document, must be signed by a prescribed person e.g. a Solicitor, to the effect that the principal understood the nature and effect of the document.
A Will Is Not a POA
Do not expect your will to serve as a substitute. Wills designate the distribution of your property after death. POAs support the continuation of critical financial and/or health-related decisions that you would want or need to be made if you are unable to make them yourself.
Binding death benefit nomination
When you die the Trustee of your super fund decides on the dependants who receive your super. Many people are blissfully unaware that their entire super, and often their insurance benefits, are up for grabs amongst the dependants they leave behind.
What are the benefits of making a binding nomination?
You get to remove any uncertainty about who receives your super (including insurance amounts) when you die. This means you can nominate exactly who gets what. This makes your Estate Planning more precise and effective.
What happens if I don’t make a binding nomination?
The Trustee distributes your benefits amongst your dependants and your estate in whatever way it believes is fair and reasonable. This is done taking into account the nomination you completed on your application form (remember, though, they are not bound by your nomination unless you made a ‘Binding Nomination’).
As part of your estate planning, it is a good idea to discuss with your family extra help maybe required.
From 1 July 2017, there are things you need to know about the fees you may need to pay for aged care. Changes to fees are part of reforms to the aged care system to make it more sustainable and affordable.
Check details CLICK HERE
An accommodation bond is an amount that you pay for your accommodation in an aged care home. You would have been asked to pay an accommodation bond when you moved into an aged care home and you had low-level care needs or when you moved into an extra-service place with high care needs.
Check details CLICK HERE
Aged Care Loan
Aged Care Loan
As the ageing population rapidly grows in Australia, approximately $3 billion per annum is required to fund individuals that will need to move into aged care facilities and will have to pay a Refundable Accommodation Deposit. Such deposits commonly exceed $500,000.
When moving into aged care, a resident is required to pay either a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD), which is a lump sum, a Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP) or a combination of both. The amount payable is published on the aged care facility’s website, with RAD’s commonly in excess of $500,000.