Estate planning: what’s involved?

Make sure you and your money are well looked after.

Estate planning is not just about making a will. It’s about deciding how you want to be looked after (both medically and financially), if you can’t make your own decisions later in life. It’s also about documenting how you want your assets to be distributed after you die.

Planning your estate will help you have peace of mind and avoid family tensions when you can no longer make your own decisions.

Here are some key things to think about:

1.    Making a will

A solicitor or estate lawyer can help you draw up a legally binding document that advises who should receive your estate assets when you die1. If you don’t have a valid will your estate will be distributed according to the law in your relevant state. Find out more about making a will in our online learning module.

2.    Appointing an executor

The executor is the person who is responsible for making sure your assets are distributed according to your wishes, as well as paying bills, closing banks accounts and so on. Find out more about the duties of an executor.

3.    Setting up an enduring power of attorney

An enduring power of attorney allows someone to make financial decisions on your behalf, even if you lose legal capacity. In some states, a power of attorney holder can also make lifestyle decisions. In others, you need a separate document (e.g. enduring guardianship). Ask your solicitor about the relevant powers of attorney documents in your state.

4.    Guardianship

If you haven’t legally appointed a person to manage your affairs through a power of attorney and it becomes necessary to do so, then a family member or friend can be given guardianship to make decisions on your behalf about your lifestyle (health, where you live etc.). An administrator can also be appointed by a guardianship board to manage your financial affairs.

5.    Nominating beneficiaries for your super

Think about how you want your super to be distributed after you’re gone. Make sure you keep your nomination up to date. If you don’t, the super money may end up in the wrong hands.

6.    Insuring yourself to protect your loved ones

Insurance helps you and your family in the event of unforeseen events, such as serious illness or injury. Find out more about the different types of insurance, some of which are available through your super.

Do you need help?

Estate planning can be a complex area and there could be legal and tax implications if you don’t set things up correctly. But while it can seem a bit daunting, it also gives you peace of mind.

So, if you want to start talking through your estate planning options, it’s worth seeking professional advice.  

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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.