Nobody can predict the future, and if we leave unanswered questions about how to settle our affairs, life for those we leave behind could become stressful.
Estate planning involves deciding how you want your assets distributed after you die or become unable to make your own financial decisions. When it comes to estate planning there are two main aims; avoid the next of kin suffering financial hardship and minimise the amount of bickering over who gets what.
It’s important to note that an estate plan goes beyond a will. Estate planning encompasses other facets of your life including:
- Retirement options
- Retirement planning
- Creating personal wealth.
Creating a comprehensive estate plan boils down to the following these steps;
- Ensure you arrange your finances and assets during your lifetime.
- Make these all important decisions while you are still capable.
- Try and avoid paying too much tax.
- Make sure your assets are distributed according to how you want them to be distributed.
It is crucial that you do your own initial research and seek the advice of a professional for further guidance. Professionals can talk you through the process and give you tips based on your individual situation. They can also bring up questions that are normally overlooked.
There really isn’t one set time to start estate planning. This will depend entirely on your individual situation. There are however trigger events such as getting married, having kids, and buying a first home. It’s never too early to start thinking about who you would leave your assets to if you were to pass away.
Last but not least, it’s important that you review your estate plan every 3-5 years. Circumstances change, so it’s important that you make sure the provisions and distributions are still in line with what you want to happen.
BDH Leaders can advise you on the best structure for your estate planning. View more information on wealth creation and estate planning here.