Estate Planning

In today’s complex world your estate and business succession planning is a process which requires careful consideration of the full ambit of your legal and financial circumstances. We must take into account assets owned personally, owned by companies or held by trusts, taxation implications, asset protection, complex family scenarios and a range of other legal and financial matters.

A modern and balanced estate plan is not limited to the preparation of a will to ensure assets are managed and distributed in accordance with your wishes. It involves much more. A proper plan might include consideration of the following;

  • a Will;
  • shareholder and partnership agreements which address current management and ownership issues, and the future succession of management and ownership;
  • integrated company, trust, and superannuation structures;
  • the use of devices to avoid assets passing through your estate such as family trusts, insurance, joint tenancy and superannuation;
  • an enduring Power of Attorney;
  • tax planning which addresses income tax, capital gains tax and stamp duty implications of transferring assets and/or managing assets upon death or other keys events;
  • a range of critical events – not just death including:
      • the desire to leave a close relative out of your will;
      • your mental or physical incapacity or the mental or physical incapacity of a beneficiary;
      • your bankruptcy or business failure, or the bankruptcy or business failure of a beneficiary or a spouse of a beneficiary;
      • your own or that of a beneficiary;
      • retirement; or
      • a dispute over the will.
  • the use of a testamentary trust/s in your Will to enable maximum flexibility so that a beneficiary can enjoy the maximum benefit of your estate. In addition to flexibility, testamentary trusts potentially afford ancillary benefits such as the minimisation of taxes payable by a beneficiary and the protection of estate assets against failed marriage, bankruptcy and dispute;
  • the use of insurance coverage as an asset in your plan;
  • business Buy/Sell Deeds to provide options for departing and remaining stakeholders;
  • balancing the rights of different categories of beneficiaries to receive income and/or capital and the right to control income and/or capital; and
  • a financial plan.

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