Effective estate planning is designed to protect your assets for your family members, both during your lifetime and after you pass away. Unfortunately by the time lawyers are involved in estate issues, the situation can be very messy for all parties. The importance of estate planning can best be illustrated by the following real life example from one of our clients where we became involved too late.
As part of their estate planning, Mum and Dad transferred one half of their farm to their son, personally by way of gift.
A year later the son married his fiancée. Tragically, the following year their son was killed in a tractor accident. Their son did not have a Will and all his estate (including half of the farm) went to his wife.
A year later their daughter-in-law was tragically killed in a car accident. There were no grandchildren and because she did not have a Will, her half share in the farm passed to her parents.
As a result, a substantial cash payment between Mum and Dad and their son's in-laws was required for Mum and Dad to regain ownership of the farm they fully owned four years before. A triple tragedy.
Effective Estate Planning
Effective estate planning would address all potential issues outlined above. It may involve:
Preparing a Will that ensures your assets are protected from misadventures after you pass away, such as the divorce or bankruptcy of one of your children. Preparing an Enduring Power of Attorney to ensure that your wealth can be managed effectively should you lose capacity.Integrating your estate planning objectives with your financial and business plans.
Effective estate planning is essential. Please send this to your clients to remind them that if they do not have an appropriate estate plan in place and have been putting it off, now is the time to act.