When an individual dies, their assets generally become part of their estate and are distributed in accordance with their will. However as John points out in this video; there are often instances in which some assets don't automatically form part of part of an estate.
Helping to take all factors into consideration, John highlights the instances in which jointly owned assets, superannuation entitlements, proceeds of life insurance and any assets held in trusts or by companies don't automatically become part of your estate.
Always ensure you seek professional advice for your specific circumstances, the above is intended to be general in nature.
What is estate planning?
Generally, estate planning involves doing a will, but it can involve a lot more than that such as what you own, how you own it and what you want to happen to it when you die.
When you die, the things that you own in your own name will form part of your “estate” and be distributed in accordance with your will. But there are often assets that people consider to be theirs but which don’t automatically form part of their estate when they die.
These include assets held by companies or in trusts, superannuation entitlements and the proceeds of life insurance. And it’s also important to remember that your share in any asset held by you as a joint tenant with one or more others will pass directly to the survivors when you die and also never form part of your estate.
Under your will you are free to give your assets to anyone you like, but keep in mind that the law allows your spouse, child or dependant to challenge your will after you die if you haven’t made “adequate provision” for them in your will.
Good estate planning takes all these factors into consideration. You may want to keep to a minimum those assets which can be at risk under a challenge to your will or you may simply wish to distribute assets to your loved ones in the most equitable and tax effective way.
So have a think about what you own and how you own it. Abit of estate planning may make a lot of sense for you.
If you have any queries about estate planning or asset protection law please contact us on 07 5443 9988 or [email protected].
Argon Law is a Sunshine Coast law firm based in Maroochydore. We are commercial lawyers and wills and estate planning lawyers and are eager to assist you in any way we can.
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