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Things To Know About Estate Planning

May 02, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 131

As we move through life, we accumulate assets, houses, cars, investments, and business interests. We have worked hard for these assets so it becomes important to us to ensure that we protect these things from future events that might otherwise see them taken from us. Just like you would not start a business without a business plan, you should not move through life without a plan for your estate. Death is inevitable and setting out what should happen to your assets early on is important to ensure you look after your loved ones.

One of the key ways you can protect your assets is with a family trust which effectively owns all your assets which are managed and administered by the trustees, usually you and your lawyer, possibly another party depending on the circumstances of the trust. As you personally no longer own the assets they are effectively safe from claim by another party - usually a person you have had a relationship with, a spouse or defacto.

A family trust allows you and your family to enjoy the assets, live in the homes, drive the cars and other benefits whilst knowing that they are not subject to claim. There are, however, some legalities that you must adhere to in order to ensure that your trust is set up legally, that you manage it within its guidelines as well as New Zealand law. Your lawyer is the best person to set up your trust and administer it for you to ensure you do this correctly.

Other things to know about estate planning are:

- Try and set up your plan as early as possible, this not only means your assets are protected early, but also assists with the gift process - You cannot set up a family estate for illegal purposes such as tax evasion - Ensure your will considers your trust deed to avoid your will being contested - Discuss your plans with your family, particularly if you are making sweeping changes or decisions - Engage a lawyer to ensure you keep everything legal

If you do not currently have a lawyer the New Zealand Law Society is a good place to start your search. Not only does it have a list of registered lawyers but also information about changes to bills as well as their branch locations, which are Auckalnd, Canterbury, Gisborne, hawke's bay, Manawatu, Marlborough, Nelson, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Wanganui.

This article has been provided by Vanessa Hamm of Holland Beckett, a tauranga law firm in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

Source: EzineArticles
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