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What is Estate Planning? 

Estate planning is a subject that most don’t like to think about, but in its simplest form it’s just about ensuring peace of mind.

Image of house and keys

It is about making sure that your assets and belongings are passed on to your beneficiaries as per your wishes.

But estate planning protects more than just your assets – it protects your family and loved ones who may need access to your investments to help them continue to cover their living expenses. In a time of grief, it can also make the process of managing your estate as easy as possible. 

 

An effective estate plan will cover: 

  • Naming your beneficiaries - You're able to name all of the people you want to receive your assets or a continued income stream to reduce confusion and uncertainty in a time of great stress, and the wishes in your estate plan are legally binding.

  • A minimisation of taxes - Your estate plan can be structured so that as little as possible of your estate is lost to taxes.

  • Putting all of your affairs in order - Estate planning gives you the peace of mind that you have recorded all of your wishes and set plans in place for those wishes to be carried out, and reduces the chances that your family will have to deal with expensive administration processes.

  • A will - Part of your estate plan includes you writing or updating your will to include your current beneficiaries, assets and wishes.

  • Power of attorney - You also need to assign power of attorney to someone and that allows them the authority to manage your financial affairs when you become unable to do so yourself.

  • A living will - A living will details your wishes for the types of life sustaining medical intervention you want or don’t want, so that your wishes can be carried out if you are terminally ill or unable to communicate.

  • A healthcare proxy - This authorises the person named to make medical decisions on your behalf.

  • A trust - Depending on your situation and your assets, a trust may also be included in your estate plan.

Estate planning shouldn’t be left to the last minute because it is an important part of your overall financial plan.  While ESSSuper do not provide specific estate planning advice, we recommend contacting a legal estate planning professional to provide estate planning advice to develop a suitable estate plan for you. 

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