Life: Get it right with Estate Planning

When we’re 18 years old most of us generally think we are bullet proof and take risks which we might look back on in later years as being completely irresponsible. Every age group has distinctive “psychological markers” that are all part of the process of growing up or becoming older and wiser in life.

The 20s can be a time of exhilaration and freedom when you step out into life and are forging your path. The 30s may be focused on nesting and having a family. The 40s these days are the new 30s and people enjoy the fruits of their hard work… material assets like house(s), car(s) or any number of recreational pursuits we can afford. The Baby Boomer generation has shown us a different way we can transition from work life into retirement.

In our 50s we might start thinking seriously about setting ourselves up for retirement as the “tooth of time” is beginning to grate at health and longevity. In the 60s people might be looking forward to their deserved retirement, while others have difficulty to think of their lives being meaningful without work. If you get to the 70s, you really want to make sure that you don’t have any material worries and can comfortably provide for your needs during old age, and until you die. Who wants to be a burden to their offspring, when we go into our 80s or 90s… those of us that reach this ripe old age truly deserve to enjoy and participate in our grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s lives.

One thing which all of these ages have in common for people is the unpredictability of life. Life has a habit of expressing itself in not only pleasant, but also painful experiences in the life of an individual or family, regardless of the age group they’re in. I’m thinking of events such as going through divorce, the loss of a loved one, suffering an accident with debilitating consequences, succumbing to illness or what most of us hardly ever think about, our own death… psychologically speaking the denial of our own mortality is a bit of a life saver, I think. However, it is probably also the biggest reason why people don’t take action to draw up a Will or plan for their estate to make sure their assets can be distributed to their loved ones according to their wishes. They simply don’t consider it as part of the equation of life.

So what does all this philosophising have to do with Estate Planning, you may wonder. Well, I truly believe that Estate Planning is the key to negotiating the troubled waters of life and come out good at the other end. Click here to learn more about Straight Money Talk Estate Planning services. An old saying goes that two things in life are certain, and that’s taxes and death. Everything else is up for grabs, and it may or may not happen. The decisions we make, the values we adopt and consciously live are all an expression of our lives and how we like to leave our mark on this earth.

For those of you who are rational thinkers and want to ensure that material wealth and what you’ve worked hard for all your life will stay in the family, even if life happens, Estate Planning is a must. Those of you who want to leave your assets to your loved ones, instead of the tax man, are wise to undertake an Estate Planning process, especially when you are in a blended family situation, have a complex asset structure, and are aware of risks that can jeopardise the continuation of your desired lifestyle, or that of your family. Particularly, people in small business can really benefit from Business Succession planning as part of an Estate Planning strategy.

Through Estate Planning you can ensure that, no matter what curve balls life will throw at you, you have put strategies in place that will continue to enable you to live your life as comfortable as before, i.e. in the family home, driving a reliable car, being able to afford the education of your children, building your nest egg through investments or growing the balance of your superannuation account for your retirement, being able to afford the best health care this country can offer when you need it, travel to different places you’ve never seen… The list goes on and, of course, priorities are different for each individual or family. That’s part of the rich tapestry of the world we live in.

If you have just had a moment that jolted you from apathy to action, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone to call us on 1300 416 590 and get started right away. The first step in a journey of a 1000 miles is always the hardest. Luckily, you don’t have to walk that far to get your Estate Planning off the ground with us. For more information, click here to learn how Straight Money Talk can help you with your Estate Planning needs.

Copyright © 2012 Robert Bauman
Disclaimer: This information (including taxation) is general in nature and is for Australian residents only. It does not consider your individual circumstances or needs. Do not act until you seek professional advice and consider a Product Disclosure Statement.