What are the important elements in estate planning?
In considering your Estate Plan, particularly the drafting of a valid Will, it is important to understand clearly what assets actually form part of your estate – not everything that you have control of is necessarily ‘yours to bequest’! The use of testamentary trusts and the appointment of appropriate executors/trustees are important considerations when drafting a Will, including in situations where there are likely to be beneficiaries who are still minors at the relevant time.
Why have an estate plan?
Your estate plan is a version of a financial plan – it should provide financial security and certainty for your dependants and other beneficiaries. Based on a finite existing asset position as at the date of your death, your bequest aspirations need to be regularly reviewed to ensure your plan meets your expectations.
A good estate plan will:
Ensure that ownership and control of your eligible assets passes to the intended beneficiaries in a timely way – and in the correct proportions; and
In a way which will be tax effective, incurring minimum tax on the income and capital gains earned on the estate assets; and which protects those assets should a beneficiary be involved in any legal and/ or competence difficulties (including bankruptcy, divorce or ‘dependencies’).
We also recommend that consideration should be given to making a binding death nomination for your superannuation death benefits at the time of drafting your estate plan.
Financial Plan; Estate Plan AND Business Succession Plans!
In situations where there are business assets involved, business continuity may be of concern and buy-sell agreement(s) need to be considered: our experienced financial advisors can make recommendations in this regard – and/ or liaise with your accountant and lawyer to ensure the most suitable outcomes are targeted.
We can provide you with tools to ensure your legal adviser is well instructed for the preparation of a personalised, targeted Estate Plan, and that your beneficiaries (nominated by class or name) receive the right amount of funding, at the right time.
What do you need to do now?
To access these services or to arrange a confidential appointment with one of Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd’s advisers, call our office on 07 – 3421 3456, or use our website CONTACT US facility – and be assured of prompt attention.
The Estate Planning Strategies category in our website Library carries a broad range of articles that may be of interest to you and to your family.
[This article was originally posted in February 2010. It has been refreshed and re-posted in March 2014.]
2042 Logan Road, Upper Mount Gravatt Brisbane, QLD, 4122 Australia
adviser @ continuumfp.com.au • 07 3421 3456