Planning your estate

What’s involved and what to expect


Estate planning is an important part of any financial plan. The considerations can be far reaching and it’s important you review your arrangements on an ongoing basis, as well as when your life and circumstances change.

None of us like to think about a day when we are not here to provide care and support for our loved ones. Ensuring you have the right arrangements in place in case the unforeseen occurs can bring great peace of mind that your family will be looked after, as you’d like, in the event you pass away.

However, estate planning is about so much more than putting a Will in place as a one-off action. It’s also important to think about:

    • who would make medical, lifestyle and financial decisions for you if you weren’t able to do so yourself, either temporarily or long-term
    • any specific needs of your beneficiaries, or desire to provide ongoing care and accommodation
    • how the way in which your assets are legally owned impacts your estate plan
    • how to provide for each of your beneficiaries in the most tax-effective way
    • when you’d like your loved ones to be able to access any inheritance you leave for them
    • the impact of changing family circumstances and dynamics on your arrangements, and
    • whether life insurance is an important part of ensuring you’re able to provide equally for your beneficiaries, and ensure any debt is cleared upon your passing.


Also, any plan you put into place needs to be reviewed and amended over time, particularly as your circumstances change, to ensure it reflects your current wishes.


Who is involved?

When creating, implementing and updating your estate plan, a number of professional advisers may need to be involved to ensure the right outcomes are achieved and all aspects of your situation
are well considered.

Your financial adviser may be able to facilitate joint conversations or liaise with other professionals, such as lawyers and registered tax agents, to ensure the advice you receive from each person suits your overall financial circumstances, as well as aligns to your goals and objectives. There are some important tax and legal considerations when it comes to planning your estate. However, it’s also important to have a deep understanding of, and consider the needs of you and your beneficiaries in relation to:

  • any potential change in your circumstances, including the possible need to provide care or financial support for dependants, including aging parents, in the future
  • superannuation and tax law
  • wealth creation strategies
  • managing social security impacts, entitlements and eligibility, and the aged care system, including fees and rules.


The good news is your financial adviser is able to help guide you through the process and help to make you aware of when you may need the help of another specialist. That way, you can have the peace of mind that the right advice is received from the right person, at the right time. You and your family can focus on the most important thing – enjoying life – with the peace of mind that you have the right arrangements in place.


What to expect from your financial adviser

When you meet with your financial adviser, they will want to get to know you and what’s important to you. They will ask you quite a lot of questions to start to build a picture of you, your family, and other important people in your life. An in-depth understanding of how you currently support your family, as well as getting an idea about any future changes will help to ensure your estate plan suits your needs, and anticipates the future.



Personal estate planning process


How your assets are dealt with when you pass away


Source: Prepared by Bridges Financial Services (trading as MLC Advice)