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Estate planning matters worth talking about

When it comes to estate planning, most of us know how important it is to have an up-to-date Will, an enduring power of attorney and an advance health directive. But there’s another crucial step that many are overlooking.

In this article, we look at how starting a conversation about estate planning with those you love is a vital step in protecting your financial legacy.

Discussing money matters with your family can be daunting. However, as more and more Baby Boomers enter their twilight years, it has never been more important to have frank and open discussions about money with adult children and other potential beneficiaries.

Getting your affairs in order

On a practical level, talking to your family about estate planning can help avoid unpleasant surprises. Whether your financial legacy will be small or large, it’s important for your beneficiaries to understand the responsibilities and expectations that come with it.

A little forward planning can help avoid disputes and unnecessary tax liabilities that could be inherited by your beneficiaries. Understanding how the death tax works, for example, could save handing over a significant amount of money to the ATO should your health take a turn for the worse and you pass away.

You may have heard the saying “it is better to give with a warm hand than a cold one”. Many older Australians are beginning to apply this sort of thinking. Not only are they taking the time to shore up their Wills and Estates, they are gifting part of intended inheritances while they are alive, so they can enjoy seeing the benefits particularly with younger relatives who could use the assistance.

The value of advice

Even if you don’t always agree on money matters, sharing your personal experience with younger relatives can be worthwhile. In particular, if you have benefited from receiving professional financial advice, discussing the value of ‘advised’ decision making can be considerable over an individual’s lifetime.

A 2021 study by Russell Investments found that those who sought qualified financial advice typically achieved 5.2% better outcomes on their investment portfolios [1]. This takes in a broad range of factors, such as the impact made by financial mentoring and behavioural coaching, bridging knowledge gaps, optimising cash usage and making the most of tax-effective investing and planning.

Engaging with a qualified and experienced financial adviser provides access to a wealth of expertise that extends beyond financial management and into the legal, tax, insurance and superannuation matters that need to be coordinated with your financial and lifestyle choices.

Safeguarding your legacy

If you’d like to start an estate planning conversation with your family, reviewing your Will with a financial adviser is a good place to begin. We also invite you to lean on our experience in leading family discussions, answering technical questions and explaining financial strategies in easy-to-understand language.

Estate planning can be an emotional process for many families, and it is often helpful to have someone at arm’s length to provide honest explanations and objective advice.

Ultimately, we all want the best for our families when we’re no longer around. Discussing estate planning with those you love is a good way to ensure you pass on much more than just money.

For help navigating your financial future and for advice about how you can PROTECT your life savings and leave the legacy of your choosing, please contact Blue Harbour Financial Partners on 07 3821 1161 or email office@blueharbour.com.au.

At Blue Harbour, we are known for helping everyday Australians to PLAN and GROW their personal prosperity, PROTECT what’s important, and RETIRE to the lifestyle of their choice.

Blue Harbour Financial Partners and its advisers are Authorised Representatives of Fortnum Advice Pty Ltd ABN 52 634 060 709 AFSL 519190. This article is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider your own circumstances and whether the advice is right for you before making a decision. Always obtain a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making any financial decisions in relation to acquiring a product.

[1] 2021 Value of an Adviser Report – Russell Investments

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