Aussie estate planning an impending ‘disaster’

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Australians are being urged to review their estate plans, with a lawyer warning that up to two in five Aussies die without a will.

Argyle Lawyers principle Peter Bobbin recently told the soon-to-be-released Nestegg podcast that many Australians are risking their wealth, considering “somewhere between 25 and 40 per cent of people die intestate”.

“That doesn’t mean in WA. That means they’re dying without a will,” Mr Bobbin said.

“Now, I suspect that part of that statistic is influenced also by a loss of documents. So not only is it important to have proper, strong, appropriate documents that fit your plan in place … but you should also know where they are [and] ensure others know where they are.”

Those documents should also include things like enduring power of attorney, documents relating to superannuation and the family trust, as well as an enduring guardianship or health directive which is the statement laying out whether or not you want life support machines turned off.

“Just to give a couple of examples, family discretionary trusts are the single most utilised investment vehicle in Australia today for a multiple of reasons, not the least of which include asset preservation, that is, against claims and also for tax flexibility,” Mr Bobbin said.

“All too often I come across someone who’s lost the trust deed. That’s a disaster. Again, I go back to, where is the document? Are the documents in place? Do they accurately express that which was intended to be created?” 

The Nestegg podcast will be released shortly. It shares insights on how to create, grow and manage your wealth better. 

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