I often get asked by clients, “Do I need a will?” The answer is invariably, yes. Here at Lindsay Kenney we also help individuals with their personal estate planning. Anything from something that’s simple and straightforward, like a young couple looking to appoint guardians for their minor children, up to more complicated matters, involving assets of higher net worth, and blended families, and relationships that are not as straightforward. Having a will is a lot like having insurance for young families. You don’t want to use it, you know hopefully it never comes to that, but you do want to make sure that it’s in place in case the unforeseen does happen.
If you don’t make any plan at all, the government steps in. And when the government steps in, it costs your family money, and all decision making power is generally taken out of the family’s hands. We can help clients with enduring powers of attorney, to allow them to appoint a trusted individual to allow them to look after their finances. For personal matters, or for corporate matters, if they are later unable to sign off for themselves. Trusts are often used as part of succession planning, whether it’s dealing with business assets or personal assets. They’re incredibly powerful because they can bypass probate, and they can protect beneficiaries from themselves. If we have an issue with wills variation or beneficiaries with a disability, or inability to handle money, we often utilize trusts to protect them. Then you have to have a person who will take care of the money and insure that it’s safe for that child until they get to a point where they can manage money themselves. You know my line is “When will you trust your child not to take a large amount of money and buy a Ferrari?”
One underlooked and unappreciated component of estate planning is incapacity planning. This is in the event that you get into a car accident, or there’s a medical condition that leaves you unable to make decisions on your own. We will help people to think about what should happen if they are unable to make their own healthcare decisions. Who do they trust to make those very important decisions about whether to go ahead with a procedure or not? You’re not gonna be here, and we need to protect your children, or the charities you wish to provide for, or generally the plan that you have for this wealth. After we’ve established where our clients are going, we need to work with their team of advisors to achieve the optimal outcome, that includes financial, and legal, and tax. All are key components in any succession plan.
Here at Lindsay Kenney, we love helping individuals with their estate planning, because it’s all about peace of mind, and we love helping our clients to achieve that. Ultimately we want to empower them to make decisions that are right for themselves and as well as their families.