“Do you guys ever think about dying?” is one of this year’s most recognisable lines in film… arguably since, well, Elle Woods’ “What, like it’s hard?” response to ex-boyfriend Warner Huntington III upon his discovery of her acceptance to Harvard Law School (nice).
That’s right – we’re talking about Greta Gerwig’s 2023 movie, Barbie which graced our screens in July this year. This statement from Stereotypical Barbie herself came as a bit of a shock to the other Barbies and Kens, because, well, it meant that she was becoming (shock horror) um, human?! (A plot twist that was a bit out of the box, hey?)
So, if Barbie is thinking about her mortality, then we should, too. Because financial planning is empowering, and being prepared for the future is one of the coolest things you can do. Cue Dua Lipa’s Dance the Night *disco ball spins*.
Why you should start estate planning
You’re probably thinking: ‘I’m young! Why should I write my estate plan right now?’ If you haven’t worked this out already: The nature of life, is kiiiinda unpredictable. By organising your estate plan now, you’re alleviating all that future stress for future you (or your family).
Here are some other reasons why you should be putting your estate plan on the top of your to-do list:
It protects the people you love
As part of your estate plan, you can set up a trust to protect your assets. This can ensure that your family (including your furry friends) will be looked after (financially and legally) in the case of your death.
You can control where your assets end up
If you’re writing your Will for the first time, you can start by listing your assets (so, everything you own, and any assets you own with another person). By doing this, you can decide how you want the assets to be distributed across your estate.
Tip: Remember to be specific. The more detail you include, the more prepared your loved ones will be should the unexpected occur.
Pay less tax
An estate plan is designed to help your family and loved ones minimise hefty taxes and fees in the long run. So why delay it?
Make healthcare decisions now, while you still can
As part of your estate plan, you can appoint a Medical Decision Maker. This is a person who you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you no longer have the capacity to in the future. You can also create an Advanced Care Directive, which outlines what you would like to happen regarding health and medical matters if the time comes.
Leave a legacy
Did you know that you can support a charity you love through your legal Will? Yep! You can leave a charitable donation or a bequest to an organisation (or to multiple organisations) that you feel passionate about.
Jot down life changes as they happen
Tied the knot? Had a baby? Adopted a fur child? Bought a house? The list goes on and on. After you pop the sparkling to celebrate, be sure to create or update your Will to reflect your current life circumstances.
If you haven’t seen Barbie yet, it’s probably high time to go and book your ticket. But, pink things aside, if there’s one thing we can learn from today, it’s that it’s never too early to write your Will or set up your estate plan. It can be too late, though. So, if you want to save your family the potential time, stress and dollar bills, it’s a good idea to get cracking on your Will now – while you still have your (great) wits about you.
Here at Willed, we feel comfortable using legal jargon in everyday life. But that’s because we’re real lawyers… who love Legally Blonde. (We mean, who doesn’t?!) If you need a hand decoding all the legal talk, you can call or email us at [email protected] or 1300 945 533. Either works.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice.