It is a paradox in life that death is certain, but the timing of death is uncertain. Estate planning involves helping the individual plan for his needs, not only whilst alive, but also upon death.
A well thought through estate plan will enable one to secure the necessary financial base for their love ones. Good estate planning can help create the desired estate for loved ones immediately. It can protect accumulated estate from creditors’ risk, and distribute estate either in a lump sum or periodically to loved ones, depending on the financial maturity of the beneficiaries.
It is important to know the timeline when one is alive and upon one’s death. An estate settlement process explains the process upon death till the distribution of the deceased’s estate.
Upon death, most of the deceased’s assets would be frozen. These assets would be available for distribution only after the Court issues the Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration. If there was a Will, the distribution would usually be based on the choice of the testator or deceased. If there was no Will, the distribution would be based according to the Intestate Succession Act.
- Provision Of Expenses Upon Retirement
- Provision Of Immediate Expenses
- Preservation & Enhancement Of Estate
- Desired Distribution Of Estate
Estate Planning Tools
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.
Advance Medical Directive
An 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.
Lasting Power Of Attorney
A 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.