Important elements in estate planning include your Will, an enduring power of attorney and adequate insurance cover for your particular needs. When undertaking your Estate Planning, 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’!
Your estate plan is, for all intents and purposes, a financial plan – it should provide financial security and certainty for your financial dependants (and others you choose to benefit). Based on a finite asset position existing 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 assets passes to the intended beneficiaries in the correct proportions; and that they will do that tax-effectively, incurring minimum tax on the income and capital gains derived from 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’).
The use of testamentary trusts and the appointment of appropriate executors/ trustees are important considerations. This is particularly important where there are likely to be beneficiaries who are still minors at the relevant time. We also advise on the suitability of making a binding death nomination for your superannuation death benefits.
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 Will and for preparation of other estate planning documentation. This preparation will also maximise the likelihood that your beneficiaries (nominated by class or name) receive the right amount of funding, at the right time.
To access these services or to arrange a confidential appointment with one of our financial planners, call our office on (07) 3421 3456; or email our helpful staff via our Contact Us page.
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