Contrary to what you may think, Estate Planning is not about houses, buildings or real estate holdings that you may have. It is about planning for the disposition and administration of an estate i.e. all the assets owned by a person on his/her demise. Legally an ‘Estate’ means “the degree, quantity, nature and extent of interest which a person has….” The interest may be interest in real estate, cash, equities, debt, insurance policies to name a few.
Estate Planning includes drawing up a will, setting up a trust, establishing a holding company or using any mode of transfer to ensure that your assets are settled into your Estate in accordance with your instructions.
It is widely acknowledged that there are three primary phases in the financial life cycle of an investor. These are:
Accumulation – the period of acquisition;
Consolidation – the period of preservation; and
Transfer – handing over to the next generation.
Most investors however fail in the aspect of planning for disposition to future generations. This is perhaps more rampant in some cultures where thinking, or worse still, planning towards one’s demise is superstitiously viewed as ‘calling on death’!