Creating an estate plan - including a valid will - is an important undertaking for any Australian adult with fixed or liquid assets to their name.
Even if you do not own a property, you are likely to have accrued other possessions over the course of life such as a car, furniture or even valuable hobby collections - not to mention the funds in your savings account and investment portfolio.
In the event that something unfortunate happens to you, a well-prepared and updated estate plan helps ensure that the appropriate person or persons will take responsibility of your assets, financial affairs or medical care.
An estate plan also makes provisions for the people you care about to receive the possessions you have personally nominated.
So what does the process of preparing a thorough estate plan involve?
Firstly it is crucial to discuss your objectives with your financial adviser, who can act as the link between you and a qualified legal expert to help apply the complicated laws of rights, taxes, wills and trusts to your specific circumstances.
While understanding some of the rules and regulations surrounding wills and estates might require expert advice, the actual process itself is relatively simple.
You will be aided in creating an inventory of all your assets and liabilities, at the completion of which you can outline your goals and decide how your wealth should be distributed.
An estate planning lawyer is able to explain how to best achieve your objectives within the framework of the rules and also present important information that you may not have previously addressed.
Once the final document is drawn up and signed, you can continue to enjoy your life with greater peace of mind.