Estate Planning is one of the most critical areas of lifestyle and financial planning but it is often overlooked.
Everyone can benefit from estate planning, regardless of the amount of money you have, your age or family status.
At a minimum, everyone should have a valid will and a power of attorney. These should be reviewed every three years or when major life events such as marriage, divorce or when the births of children or grandchildren occur.
An extension of the financial planning process, estate planning can be used not only to distribute your wealth but also to create and protect it. An effective estate plan can be a tax efficient way of transferring your assets!
What we offer
Elodus can assist you to review and address your estate planning needs and objectives in conjunction with your solicitor or the executor of your will.
Estate Planning involves three key steps:
- Deciding how your estate will be divided (remember – equal is not necessarily fair)
- Making or modifying your will
- Providing the means to ensure that your wishes will be carried out
A well-constructed estate plan covers much more than just making your will. For example, it may include:
- Appointing a power of attorney – one person or a group of people you trust to look after your financial and business affairs
- Making sure appropriate guardians for your children are provided for
- Establishing a discretionary or family trust to protect your wealth
- Establishing a testamentary trust through your estate to reduce your family’s tax liability, maintain control for dependents or protect your family’s inheritance from divorce, litigation or creditors after a will maker’s death
- Appointing an appropriate trustee and/or executor to carry out your wishes as per your will
- Appointing officeholders to assume executive positions (such as appointors or trustees of trusts) on your passing
- Considering advanced health directives e.g life support
Robert and Suzanne wanted to pass a large asset to their daughter, Isabelle, before their death in a way that protected her from future (although unexpected) family law matters and that avoided the significant tax issues associated with gifting or selling property.
Elodus worked with Robert, Suzanne and their solicitor to develop an estate planning strategy that addressed these needs and added to their retirement savings without disadvantaging their daughter and son-in-law. With the strategy in place, Isabelle now has a formally binding option to purchase her parents’ property once she has paid a specified sum of money to her parents over five years. This payment is discounted significantly, is being made in a tax effective way and is being used to assist Robert and Suzanne with their long-term retirement planning.
Isabelle and her husband are making the required payments but have not exercised the option and don’t expect to. They will receive the property via Robert and Suzanne’s will, hopefully many years into the future. In the meantime, they will enjoy the use of the property and they have the opportunity to grow and develop the business with the knowledge that it will one day be Isabelle’s own. Meanwhile, Robert and Suzanne’s retirement savings have increased significantly, enabling them to achieve life > wealth > balance in their retirement.
For more information, contact us today.