I don’t own lots of assets, so why do I need estate planning?

– Chanelle Taylor (Director, Cornerstone Financial Planning)

Contrary to popular belief, Estate Planning is not exclusively reserved for those that have amassed lots of assets. Truthfully, estate planning is just a nice way of saying “getting your affairs in order” and is important for everyone…. for those who are already wealthy and for those of us who are “wealthy to be”.

Coming to terms with our own mortality is hard and is usually not a subject that any of us we want to think about. Death and taxes are an unfortunate reality that we all must face. If death does come early and unexpectedly, the consequences can cause havoc in the lives of those who we leave behind.  How your loved ones deal with your untimely passing emotionally is something that may be out of your control. What is NOT out of your control is how you arrange your affairs while you are alive, to ensure that your loves ones are not left financially traumatised once you pass away.

This is the very essence of estate planning….to ensure that your loved ones receive as much of your hard-earned assets in the most responsible way legally possible, but as importantly, to ensure that SARS and the state receive the least. When you and your qualified financial planning professional (broker) start planning your estate, you will be able to take control over the following very important aspects of your financial world:

  • You will be able to name the people who will take over your role as parent and be your children’s legal guardians. This will give you the peace of mind to know that your children will be taken care of by someone you know, and they trust.
  • It will give you control over which assets will be left to your spouse and children, your family, a trust or non-profit organisations. This completely negates any conflict that can arise from family members fighting over “who gets what”.
  • Should you become incapable of managing your own finances or making your own financial decisions due to illness or other impairments, you will need someone you can trust to take over your role and manage your finances on your behalf. Planning your estate will allow you to nominate this person, giving you the peace of mind knowing that someone will take care of your loved ones, even when you can’t.
  • Planning your estate will ensuring that you have sufficient provisioning in place for late estate costs, death taxes, provisioning for surviving family members and the writing of your will which will ensure that your wishes are executable and fulfilled. You Will should include your bequests, funeral or burial preferences and other personal instructions you wish to include.

Your legacy is the only lasting thing that you can leave behind when you die. Make sure that your family and loved ones remember you by the well-planned legacy you leave behind and not by the complicated troubles that arose after your death.

Talk to us today to ensure that you receive expert advice in planning your Estate.

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