You have probably come across newspaper titles such as these “XXX loses court appeal against will ruling” or “Family dispute over will taken to court”. It might not be at the top of your mind right now; but as mere mortals, there will come a time when death is imminent – by then, if you do not already have plans to settle your assets, this headline may very well belong to you!
The many facets of estate planning can make this all seem very overwhelming at first. But do not be intimidated and let it scare you off this important step to take. The best advice: it never hurts to start thinking about it early and do your due research/ find the right people to talk to.
A well prepared estate plan will enable you to pass on the fruits of your labour to your loved ones, and allow it to prosper into the next generation. Good estate planning can keep your money and property from creditors’ risk; you can even decide if you prefer to distribute your estate either in a lump sum or periodically, depending on the financial maturity of your beneficiaries. If you own or manage a small business, it can ensure business continuity.
Last but not least, an estate plan assures the prompt and private distribution of your estate without excessive involvement and expenses of courts and lawyers. A clearly written plan will reduce the likelihood of ugly family disputes over the distribution of your estate.
Estate planning terms you should know – because planning for tomorrow should happen today.
- A will is a legal document that instructs the administration and distribution of what a person owns (his ‘estate’) among his beneficiaries after his death.
- A trust is a legal arrangement whereby an individual transfers his assets to a third party (‘trustee’). The trustee is bound by a Deed to follow a set of directives and rules to hold and manage the assets, for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
- An Advance Medical Directive (AMD) is a legal document that a person signs in advance, informing that he does not want any life-sustaining treatment to be used to prolong his life, in the event that he becomes terminally ill, unconscious or when death is imminent.
- A Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows a person who is 21 years of age or older (‘donor’), to voluntarily appoint one or more persons (‘donee’), to act and make decisions on his behalf, as proxy or decision maker, in the event that he loses his mental capacity.
Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share