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Estate Planning: Bequeath Assets, Not Liabilities

estate planning

There are two things in life that we cannot run away from. One is death and another is tax. Estate planning deals with the former and is about the distribution of your assets after your demise.

Estate planning is a crucial aspect of financial management that often gets overlooked, yet it plays a significant role in ensuring the smooth transition of assets and wealth to the next generation.

Why estate planning matters?

Estate planning involves arranging for the distribution of one’s assets and properties upon death or incapacitation. Without proper planning, the distribution process can become complex, leading to potential disputes among heirs and beneficiaries. Furthermore, your assets may fall into the hands of unintended recipients if you do not plan properly.

Tools for estate planning

Below are some tools that are employed in estate planning.

1. Will

A will is a legal document that outlines how an individual’s assets should be distributed after their death. In Malaysia, wills are governed by the Wills Act 1959. Contrary to popular belief, a will need not be done by a lawyer. Anyone can draft a valid will as long as it complies with Wills Act 1959.

2. Trusts

Trusts are legal arrangements where a trustee holds assets on behalf of beneficiaries. They can be established during one’s lifetime (living trust) or through a will (testamentary trust). Trusts offer flexibility and can help in asset protection and tax planning.

3. Power of Attorney

A power of attorney allows someone to make financial or healthcare decisions on behalf of another person. It is crucial to appoint a trustworthy individual as an attorney-in-fact and clearly define their powers and limitations.

4. Insurance Policies

Life insurance policies can provide financial security to loved ones after the policyholder’s death. Designating beneficiaries and ensuring adequate coverage is vital in estate planning.

Religious consideration

Religious beliefs can influence estate planning decisions. For example, Muslims are subject to Islamic laws of inheritance, while non-Muslims can distribute their assets according to their preferences through wills or trusts.

Steps in estate planning

1. Establish goals and objectives.

2. Gather data relating to estate planning.

3. Analyse and evaluate current financial situation.

4. Formulate strategies by selecting proper estate planning tools.

5. Develop the estate plan.

6. Implement and, when necessary, update the plan.

Conclusion

Given the complexities of estate planning, consulting with professionals is highly recommended. You need personalized advice based on individual circumstances and to ensure that estate planning documents are legally enforceable.

Estate planning is a proactive measure that allows individuals to protect their assets, provide for their loved ones, and minimize potential conflicts among heirs. By taking the time to plan ahead and seek professional guidance, you can achieve peace of mind knowing that your legacy is secure for future generations.

How can a financial planner help you?

I will work with you to plan your estate. We will establish your wishes and select the appropriate tools to ensure your assets will be distributed according to your wishes. Furthermore, we will find ways to make sure that your liabilities will be cleared off in the event of your demise and your assets can safely pass on to your intended recipients.

Once the process is complete, it does not mean that the instructions cannot be changed. If your circumstances change, we can always review your estate plan and amend it according to your wish. Do not hesitate to let me know when the situation arises.

If you are interested in working with me to plan for your estate, just leave your details by clicking the button below. I will reach out to you and see if we would be a good fit for each other.

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Disclaimer: This post is for informational purpose only. You should use judgment and conduct due diligence before taking any action or implementing any plan suggested or recommended in this article.

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