You may have had your most recent will prepared when your first child was born, or after your partner died. Transition to retirement is a perfect time to review and update your will, as well as other important estate planning documents.
Your estate plan forms the foundation upon which you can start to plan your retirement. The decisions you make, will all have an estate planning impact. How and where you acquire assets, how and when you make superannuation contributions, the age of your beneficiaries, the circumstances of your parents, where you live, your health and changes in legislation, all will have an estate planning impact.
Without a proper understanding of your estate planning requirements, you will not have a solid foundation for your own retirement as well as the plans and dreams you have for your family may never be realised.
In my experience, reviewing and updating an estate plan is often not a high priority for pre-retirees and their trusted advisors including accountants and financial advisors. There is a lack of understanding about the intricacies of estate planning, as well as the tax, legal and financial planning implications, which requires someone who has experience in all three areas and who is able to coordinate the various advisers.
The cost of not completing estate planning properly can have a long-lasting impact on family and create division in families that last for multiple generations.
At Longwave Wealth, we believe every person can live a long, happy & healthy life by updating and reviewing their estate plan for the following reasons:
If it has been some time since your estate plan and related legal documents were last prepared, it is highly likely that the circumstances of your beneficiaries have changed. Your children may now be young adults, married or you may even have grandchildren. There are many different circumstances that require you to update your estate planning documents.
Pre-retirees often have accumulated a range of different assets all requiring different treatment in your estate plan. You may own assets that will automatically form part of your estate known as ‘estate assets’ and others that will only form part of your non-estate asset pool such as your superannuation savings and treated differently in your estate plan. Each of the asset classes needs to be considered, depending on your circumstances, tax and asset protection objectives.
It is highly likely that there have been several changes to tax, superannuation and estate legislation since your last estate plan was prepared. The changes need to be reviewed and the impact on your objectives and circumstances need to be considered, prior to finalising your retirement planning strategies.
Estate planning appointments
Your previous estate was more than likely prepared when your children were young and your key estate planning appointments may have been your parents or family friends. You need to review these appointments and consider if they are still appropriate and also if your children are now old enough to be appointed.
It is highly likely that your parents were appointed as executors or held other key appointments in your estate plan. Their role now needs to be reviewed to consider if you can appoint someone who is the same age as you, or younger to provide your estate plan with greater longevity.
It is also recommended to make sure your parent’s estate plan is up to date so that any assets you receive have the appropriate tax and asset protection measures in place and also so that are not any family disputes between you and your siblings.
If you are a business owner, your wealth may be locked up in your business and often business succession agreements have not been reviewed for some time. These agreements need to be reviewed so that you can be certain that the wealth you have accumulated in your business can be directed to your beneficiaries in a tax and asset protective way.
As you prepare your retirement plan, it is worthwhile to reflect on what your legacy you wish to leave. Your legacy may now be entirely different from what it was when you were busy accumulating assets while working. You may also wish to commence family discussions about your intentions and what you would like to see from a family legacy perspective.
Once you have reviewed and updated your estate plan, you will be in a better position to commence retirement planning strategies. The retirement planning strategies you use will encompass estate planning implications and provide you with peace of mind and a sense of relief that your wishes and plans for your retirement and your family are all in alignment.
Your family, the key people involved in your estate plan will also be aware of your intentions and therefore will contain no surprises which will minimise family disputes associated with your legacy.
Reviewing and updating your estate plan as you approach retirement, will provide you with a platform on which to make decisions for many years, without major changes as you transition through the various phases of retirement.
As part of our 7 step retirement planning process, reviewing and updating your estate plan is built into our processes to protect your assets for your family, minimise taxation and to make sure your family story, legacy and wealth is preserved for multiple generations.
If you would like to find find out more about the estate planning issues your retirement plan should consider, please download the Ultimate Guide to Estate Planning for Retirement or contact us to discuss your concerns.
Listen to the following Facebook interview between Geoff and award winning estate planning solicitor, Tara Lucke from Tara Lucke Legal and Nexus Law.
How are you making sure that your family story and wealth is preserved for multiple generations?
General Advice Warning: Any advice on this site is general advice only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. It does not represent legal, tax, or personal advice and should not be relied on as such. You should obtain financial advice relevant to your circumstances before making any decisions.