Let’s face it, nobody wants to think about what will happen to their family once they pass away, let alone talk about it. But the truth is, it’s easier for you and your family to make good decisions while you’re alive and well rather than after you’re gone.
Because we don’t know what life may throw our way, it’s never too early to start estate planning. Successful estate planning involves much more than making a will. Many factors need to be considered, such as tax planning, asset protection and what will happen with the funds in your superannuation and any insurance policies you have in place.
Estate planning according to your wishes
An effective estate plan will help to ensure your wishes are carried out just as you would like them to be. As a result, your beneficiaries will receive what you want them to, in the most cost-effective and tax-efficient manner.
Things to consider include:
Making sure your investments and superannuation are structured for the best returns
Ensuring adequate personal and asset protection insurances are in place
Confirming your beneficiaries are clearly identified and no-one is forgotten
What you want to happen in the event of your disability or mental incapacity
The appointment of legal representatives such as Executors or Powers of Attorney
This probably sounds complex, and it can be. But talking to the financial experts at Wealth Plan Advisory will help you successfully navigate the process with as little stress as possible.
By putting strategies in place now, you can have peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of should the unexpected happen.
Superannuation may be a long-term investment strategy but that doesn’t mean you should leave it on a mental back burner. In fact, ignoring your super leaves it at risk of stagnation when it could be cooking up a healthy retirement nest egg.
Reviewing your current super strategy doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process and it could be a great way to beef up your retirement savings.
Is your super still meeting your needs?
If it’s been a while since you began your superannuation policy, you may discover the choices you made are no longer the most appropriate. To find out, check with your fund to see how your money is being invested and compare this with what else the fund has on offer.
Every super fund has a range of investment options, including:
Balanced: this option is designed to suit most people most of the time, offering above average returns with below average risk. The mix might hold 60 – 75% of its investments in shares and property with the rest in cash, bonds and fixed interest.
Growth: this option offers higher average long-term returns, but with potential for more ups and downs. Losses are often higher in bad years and happen in four or five years out of 20. Growth options usually hold around 85% of funds in shares and property with the balance in cash and fixed-interest investments.
Conservative: these portfolios tend to deliver lower average returns than growth options but with less risk of loss in any year. They typically hold around 70% in low-growth, low-risk cash and fixed interest deposits with the balance in shares and property.
Cash investments in short-term deposits with Australian institutions: these offer relatively low, stable returns with no risk of loss. The downside is the risk that returns won’t keep pace with inflation.
When deciding what’s best, it’s important to consider your attitude to risk and how close you are to retirement. For example, if you’ve got 20 years of work left, a growth option may be more suitable for you than for someone with only a few years left until retirement. That’s because you’ll have time up your sleeve for the market to recover from any downturns.
Superannuation reviews are one of our specialities so call Wealth Plan Advisory us to arrange a complimentary meeting
With the high price of Sydney housing, many parents are helping their children enter the property market by lending or gifting deposits and guaranteeing their loan. While this is commendable, it’s important to understand that if you fail to formalise arrangements, you could regret this decision for years to come.
In particular, some mortgage brokers and banks are asking parents to sign “last minute” statutory declarations just before settlement. In this highly emotion-charged time, parents are foregoing their rights to seek repayment of the loan and/or claim any rights to the property should their child (or the child’s partner) fail to repay the loan.
Statutory declarations are legally binding so these parents have no recourse to claim repayment of the loan – even if their child and his/her partner break-up. Even worse, if these parents advance a portion of the deposit money to their child without a formal loan agreement, it is considered a gift. As a result, the parents have no rights to seek reimbursement of the funds.
Of course you want to help your children as much as you can, but when it comes to financial issues, speak to the team at Sashi Veale & Associates (SVA) or Wealth Planning Advisory (WPA) BEFORE you act.