Of late, I’ve received several inquiries from people asking why they cannot receive the money or asset from a deceased spouse even though the spouse has written a will.
Having sat down and discussed it further, I have found a common thread:
- The beneficiary is waiting for the estate to be transferred to them without applying for the Grant of Probate.
- The beneficiary thinks the trustee’s company will do everything for them without payment, unaware that estate administration fees are payable.
- They receive the wrong advice from the insurance agent or consultant who are inexperienced in estate planning.
- Many do not know that their assets are frozen upon death.
- They think the trustee company will suitably settle their late spouse’s income tax.
This all falls under estate planning, which is one part of financial planning. The main objective of estate planning is to preserve as much of your wealth as possible by reducing taxes and other expenses for your beneficiaries. It’s also to reduce the uncertainties over the administration of a probate.
There are two important tools under estate planning, namely wills and trusts.