Everyone has a different life journey they’re on. But getting on top of key financial goals as you follow your own path could see you enjoying a more comfortable lifestyle and being ready for the next chapter to begin. Read our guide to getting all your money matters sorted out, one decade at a time…
...when your parents are relying on you!
As your parents get older, your whole family will be facing lots of changes. Supporting them during this time can be challenging, with lots of choices to be made. Get some tips to help you prepare for this role-reversal without it becoming a burden or a cause of family conflict…
Before your big day, much of the financial talk may have been around budgeting for your wedding and planning your honeymoon. But while not nearly as exciting, there’s another vital part of your new partnership that should be considered: your future finances.
Finances can be one of the biggest sources of stress and tension in a marriage. However, open communication and careful planning now can help you avoid many problems down the road.
Here are five important areas to examine before you walk down the aisle:
Most people know someone who has been affected by a family breakup. It is usually a very stressful and emotional time where people are anxious about the separation, the property settlement and the emotional wellbeing and care arrangements for children. Unfortunately this is reflected in a great quantity of inaccurate statements, often regarded as fact by those in the community.
Devin Sanghavi of Klimek & Wijay (Family Lawyers) highlights some common myths...
Grab yourself a cup of coffee for this particular article, because you're going to need one. This note focuses on the importance of staying on top your family trust deeds. It's a little lengthy but please stay with me on this if you can - and if not, just call me and I'll point you in the right direction...
Your three safe havens to protect assets from insolvency:
1. Low-risk spouse (eg. spouse is a teacher)
2.‘Clean skin’ Family Trusts (eg. no employees)
With the downturn in the economy the Trustee-in-Bankruptcy has its eye on Super. The latest case, Morris v Morris, shows how desperate the Trustee-in-Bankruptcy has become - such underhand tactics puts greater risk on the financial planner.
Sure, after bankruptcy, the Trustee-in-Bankruptcy can’t touch your Super received as a lump sum. However, the Trustee-in-Bankruptcy takes your Super where:
- you transferred assets into Super to defeat creditors; and
- you, as a bankrupt, get pension payments from Super
Ask your financial planner:
- Why is lump sum Super protected - but pensions are lost if the beneficiary in the Will is bankrupt?
- Why are reversionary Pensions dangerous for Will beneficiaries with few assets?
- Five ways parents can protect their Super at death.
Ok, so you've planned for retirement, you have insurances in place, your Wills are up to date, and you've appointed Enduring Powers of Attorney. You couldn't be more organised - well done!
But do your loved ones know where your Will is located? How about your insurance and superannuation documents? Do they know who your Lawyer, Financial Advisor and Accountant's are? How about that key to the safe or special filing cabinet?
You can see where I'm going with this.
An 'Estate Directory' is a simple but extremely useful document to have in times of crisis. Basically, it's a list of important contacts and the location of documents that you can give to your next of kin, leave in an obvious place, or lodge with us, your Financial Advisor.
Don't let your well considered plans unravel at the worst possible time. If you're a client of Westmount, ask for an Estate Directory today (it's free).
“On numerous occasions when dealing with so-called homemade Wills, I have observed they are a curse. Homemade Wills which utilise what is sometimes known as a ‘Will kit’ are not much better. This case proves the point….”
Master Sanderson, Rogers v Rogers Young  WASC 208
Kathleen Rogers loved her daughter, Alexandra. Mum’s Will left everything to her. Mum died of cancer when Alexandra was not yet 18. The Estate was intended to be held on trust until Alexandra was 25. Unfortunately, mum’s newsagency Will kit did not agree. The Will was ambiguous as to what ’25 years of age’ meant.
The penny dreadful Will kit cost the daughter $200,000: $100,000 to attack a Will and $100,000 to defend. It’s paid by the estate, so 18 year old Alexandra lost out here. Mum could have gone to our law firm’s website and built a professional Will for a mere few hundred dollars.