In the context of preserving assets for the continued use for which they were accumulated, even beyond your passing, asset protection using estate planning can secure assets for beneficiaries (including charities) at their optimum value.
Asset protection using Estate Planning protects your gift
Most people are happy to receive an inheritance: they will be even happier if they are able to retain the benefits of that gift.
In our article “Flexibility in the modern Will” we itemised some of the benefits of improving the flexibility in your Estate Plan by using a testamentary trust in your Will.
Beneficiaries who –
- have put asset protection strategies in place themselves;
- have or have the potential to face ‘marital’ breakdown;
- could be facing bankruptcy (imminently or at any time in the future); or
- have ‘debilitating afflictions’, dependencies or disabilities
.. can better benefit from your thoughtfulness if you take appropriate asset protection measures in the course of your estate planning.
People in financially high risk occupations such as professionals, business owners and company executives may fall into one or more of these categories – and prefer not to receive inherited assets in their own name at first instance. Astute Estate Planning would include provisions (such as a testamentary trust) in the Wills and supporting documentation of testators bequeathing assets to such beneficiaries.
Consider this hypothetical case
- Ann owned and ran a high profile interior decorating business (under an asset protecting structure).
- She had deliberately ensured that most of her personal assets were in her husband’s (Brian’s) name. At least this way, if the business went bad, their home and investments would be protected.
- When Ann’s parents died, she received the family beach house in her name.
- Though the business was doing well, its future success was not guaranteed.
- To protect the beach house from a possible loss through bankruptcy occasioned by failure of her business, she transferred it to a trust – and paid $36,000 stamp duty. This expense could have been avoided if Ann’s parents had included a testamentary trust in their Wills.
Where can I get help with Asset Protection Estate Planning (including my Will)?
The Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd Estate Planning service offers clients:
- working with them to prepare the detailed information required for their appointed estate planning specialist lawyer; who can then
- consider the client’s individual detail in light of their estate planning experience so as to design a plan appropriate to the client’s present and known likely circumstances; and where needed
- provision of access to our referral connections of such professionals (to whom we are happy to refer you to match their expertise with circumstances such as your own).
More about Estate Planning…
This is the third in a series of 13 articles on the topic of Estate Planning: further articles in the series seek to bring clarity to some of the issues and implications to be dealt with in fulfilling the three key considerations of Estate Planning – getting the right amount of money, to the right beneficiaries and at the right time; and to prepare you and your family to understand the final plan when drafted. The remaining articles consider –
- Estate Planning outlined;
- Estate planning and flexibility in the modern Will;
- Superannuation death benefit nominations and Estate Planning;
- Estate planning and Business Succession planning;
- Capital Gains Tax impact on estate planning;
- Estate planning and family loans;
- Estate planning and company-owned assets;
- Estate planning for a SMSF trustee;
- Estate planning and superannuation assets;
- Estate planning with a testamentary trust;
- Estate planning for younger children; and
- Estate planning dependent on a valid Will.
(This series was first posted to our website over a period from late-2011 through early-2012; it has been occasionally refreshed/ updated, most recently in April 2021.)