With our lives so full and busy it’s easy to become preoccupied with your day-to-day tasks and forget about how important it is to have a complete and holistic financial plan. It has become more important than ever to revisit your estate plans with a qualified financial professional because you never know when your estate plans will need to be executed.
In times of market turbulence, the fluctuating Australian dollar and a housing market that some claim to be in a ‘bubble’, people tend to focus on how their other assets such as property or share portfolio or performing. However, if your estate includes a share-based portfolio, chances are it could be disturbed at any time, in a volatile market, and this could have an impact on your estate plans.
For example, if you planned to leave your share portfolio to one loved one and property to another, the shares may no longer represent the value they once did. This could lead to unfair treatment of your beneficiaries or even cause family disputes over your shrunken estate after you’ve gone. Having a good family succession plan can address some of these issues.
Of course, market volatility is an ever-present part of the investment cycle and history has shown that shares more than recover over time. But you can never be too careful, especially if you’re older or in poor health.
After all, what if something were to happen to you before the share market recovered?
Seeking advice from a qualified financial adviser who can offer guidance to help you to rebalance your estate plan to reflect your wishes can be a smart move.
Of course there is a lot more to family succession planning than a basic Will. Other things to think about are covering debts, structuring you assets to avoid additional tax and capital gains liabilities, securing your Will against claims on your estate and your levels of insurance cover.
Many super fund members also have binding death nominations to consider, specifying which of their dependants will receive their super death benefits after they’ve gone. More often than not, super will be largely share-based, you should take this into account compensate the beneficiary if appropriate.
One of the major effects of falling share portfolios on family succession planning is that there is less to go around. However, one clever way to compensate beneficiaries, who are to receive your share portfolio or super rather than other assets, could be to increase your life insurance cover.
Family succession planning is an important part of any financial plan and if done correctly could avoid a lot of heartbreak for loved ones after you’ve gone. If you have a share portfolio, managed investment fund or a lot of super in share-based assets, now is the perfect time to see your financial adviser to help you get the balance right.
For more information, or an obligation-free appointment, call Kellie Payne on 0414 909 767.