Estate planning in 3 steps

February 28, 2019

Trusting our hearts is a difficult thing to do. Our minds have the ability to come up with a thousand reasons why we shouldn’t do something even though our hearts tell us that we need and should do. It’s too time-consuming. It’s too costly. It’s too complicated. It’s too troublesome. It’s not urgent. The list of reasons (even excuses) goes on.

Having a clear, yet concise understanding of estate planning is an effective way to convince your mind to trust your heart.

When it comes to estate planning, many people behave in the same manner. Their hearts tell them that it is important to make adequate afterlife plans so as to safeguard the interests of their loved ones. However, they then rationalise and eventually, no action is taken.

Estate planning consists of three important steps - estate creation, estate preservation and estate distribution. In the event of your demise, your assets will become your estate. Estate creation is an important first step to ensure that your funnel will be full when you pass on. This ensures that your loved ones will be well provided for.

Before your beneficiaries can receive your estate, there may be potential leakages that reduce the value of your estate and these take priority over your beneficiaries. It is essential to minimise them and ensure estate preservation.

Finally, after creating and preserving your estate, you will need to plan for your estate distribution using tools like Will, Trust, Lasting Power of Attorney and Nomination.

A will is legal document that expresses your intentions after your passing.

It allows you to appoint a trusted executor to carry out your final wishes, name guardians for your minor children, distribute your assets according to your intentions, avoid potential family disputes and bequeath a deserving charitable organisation. Even with all these benefits, many people simply have not gotten down to writing their wills. Parents with young children are potentially leaving their children without any suitable guardian – not just a next of kin but more importantly, one who is able to raise the children with the right values. Their hearts and love for their children yell out at them, the importance of writing a will but alas, their minds remain in control.

Many people misunderstand that estate planning is simply about writing a will.

A will is only able to make an immediate distribution of your estate upon your demise. However, if you have vulnerable beneficiaries, it might be wise to consider a delayed distribution using a trust. Examples of vulnerable beneficiaries may include elderly folks, immature youths, financially un-savvy spouses or people with addictive habits like gambling, drug or alcohol abuse. A trust will allow you to safeguard the interests of your beneficiaries who might not be equipped to handle large sums of inheritance monies. Your appointed trustee will be able to hold and manage your estate professionally and ensure that the welfare of your beneficiaries is taken care of.

Listen and trust your hearts.

Start your estate planning journey today if deep down in your heart, you feel that it is important for your loved ones. For a more comprehensive estate plan, it is also wise to consider putting in trust, the love (heart) that you have for your beneficiaries. Not forgetting your intended way to support the needy and the unfortunate by the form of Legacy Giving.