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Protecting Your Estate: Estate Planning for Retirees

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Importance of Reviewing your Will and Estate Plan

I highly recommend if someone is thinking about or have recently retired reviewing your will and estate plan. Normally by this time retirees have got adult children, have had children of their own and their family dynamic is somewhat stable. As a result it is a good time to review your will and estate plan. I prepare a lot of wills and estate plans for retirees. It is more common for a retiree to be part of a blended family or have other complex family situations which if not accounted for in the will and estate plan can lead to a dispute.


Safeguarding Wishes and Assets

In some circumstances retirees want to make sure when they pass away their estate is divided in accordance with their wishes. They want to make sure at a later time the surviving spouse doesn’t change their will or that their wishes are altered by others including manipulation, coercion or other external factors. In other circumstances there are very good reasons why a parent wants to exclude a child or step child from receiving any benefit from the terms of their will.

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Asset Protection for Beneficiaries

It is important to analyse the situation and determine if it gives rise to a claim against the estate and if so implementing a strategy to either minimise or eliminate the claim being made. This could include getting evidence from the test data or others about why they want to exclude the child or why they do not deserve any benefit from the estate. 

This evidence is highly probative in any will dispute proceeding. Retirees have worked hard for their money and they do not want the next generation to waste it. We spend a lot of time talking to clients about asset protection for their beneficiaries. This could be because the clients are worried about their child’s relationship, that being it’s unstable and they don’t want their children’s spouse to receive any of the inheritance they would receive if they were to break up. All their child is employed in a high-risk profession where there’s a chance they may be sued personally and they want to protect the money from any trustee in bankruptcy.


Navigating Complex Family Situations

Our clients have concerns that their children will not have the maturity to handle the sums of money or because of dependency issues and they shouldn’t be handling any money. In these circumstances there are strategies that we can implement to ensure that a retiree’s hard earned money is protected for their children and so these funds are used for their intended purpose and not otherwise squandered. Further, as part of our in-depth process formulating a will and estate plan, we also educate our clients on things they should consider in the future depending on how we have constructed their plan.

We attempt to future proof any will and estate plan by providing flexibility but also certainty so the test data can ensure that their wishes will be carried out. These days with increased blended families, increased complex family situations, people having assets in family trusts and superannuation, at O’Connor Ruddy and Garrett, we ensure that all your assets are properly accounted for and considered in your will and estate plan to give full effect to your wishes and ensure your beneficiaries receive their entitlements at the most appropriate time.

If you have just retired or considering retiring, we encourage you to reach out to O’Connor Ruddy and Garrett to ensure what you have worked for your entire life is protected for the intended beneficiaries.

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Need a Copy of a Will?

If you need a copy of a Will and/or are seeking legal advice, the team at O'Connor Rudy and Garrett can assist you. We will contact you to confirm additional details and then organise contacting the required parties to secure a copy of the Will for you.