Summer has come early to Perth. Amongst a busy weekend of attending water based activities with my children, it was at one of these events watching my eldest boy, now 11, compete that for a brief and fleeting moment I reflected on where I was at in my life.
My son was on the starting blocks for the 100 meters freestyle. Crouched low in the starting position, his head was down low, goggles perched on top of his thick brown hair bleached by the sun. He was ready to race and give it his all. The starter’s gun went off, and he was off and racing with all the joy and energy of life. He was maturing and changing before my eyes and I in turn was getting older.
On Sunday morning I had some time out to read the local paper. I came across a heart wrenching story about a mother’s grief in losing her only child and son to a shark attack nearly two years earlier. As I read on through the article I came across a section, which made me realize why I do what I do, and why it has become “My Passion”.
The mother described the raw emotional journey of losing her son, and that some of the harshest transitions were still to follow. The emotional loss made it impossible to return to a normal life. In addition to these emotional issues, her son had died intestate. This means he did not have a will and his estate was to be divided up according to a formula established by the State Government. As a result his estate was contested and has only recently been resolved. This was two years after his death!
The significance of this is that her son was only 21 at the time he died. It is a common misconception that you need to be married, wealthy or have complexity to warrant having a will, or more importantly an estate plan prepared. Estate planning is important for adults of all ages. Compulsory superannuation funds frequently have a life insurance component attached. As a result the estates of young adults are larger than expected, bringing with it complexities.
It is important to have an estate plan prepared as soon as you start working, and to have it updated and reviewed as you get older and your circumstances change.The cost of having a properly thought out estate plan prepared are insignificant compared to the emotional and financial cost of dealing with an untimely death or accident. An estate plan may include some of the following depending on your circumstances:
- Who is eligible to receive your superannuation death benefits;
- Who is going to receive your life insurance proceeds;
- Who is going to act as your executor;
- Who will care for your children;
- Who is eligible to challenge your estate;
- Who will take control of your family trust assets; and
- Will your estate be able to pay your liabilities?
It is important to make sure your children have an estate plan prepared as soon as they reach the age of 18. Also, ensure your estate plan is up to date so that you can reflect on life’s journey every now and then, and be comfortable in the knowledge that everything is taken care of.
Please contact me if you would like to review your, or your family members’, estate plan.
Disclaimers & Disclosures
Geoff Ivanac is Sub-Authorised Representative No. 000309751 of GPS Wealth Ltd (GPS) ABN 17 005 482 726 Australian Financial Services Licence (No 254 544) and can provide the following services financial planning, risk management, managed investments, superannuation and retirement planning, margin lending and self-managed superannuation funds.
The information provided on this website has been provided as general advice only. We have not considered your financial circumstances, needs or objectives and you should seek the assistance of your GPS Wealth Ltd (GPS) Adviser before you make any decision regarding any products mentioned in this communication. Whilst all care has been taken in the preparation of this material, no warranty is given in respect of the information provided and accordingly neither GPS nor its related entities, employees or agents shall be liable on any ground whatsoever with respect to decisions or actions taken as a result of you acting upon such information.