Seeking advice about the options available for your Estate after your death is known as Estate Planning. It involves:
- Creating a Will
- Choosing an executor that will administer the Will
- Deciding whether a Power of Attorney will be required and if so, appointing the person that will act as the Attorney
- Establishing a Discretionary Trust/s.
Speaking with an Estate Planning professional about your personal circumstances lets you find out if a more complex Will or a formal Estate Planning strategy document should be prepared. It is important to consider creating an estate plan when you have:
- Beneficiaries that have special needs and are vulnerable
- Sizeable assets and the personal circumstances of your beneficiaries require a more complex trust/s within the Will
- Complex investment or business structures including a family discretionary trust, self- managed superannuation fund or private company
- Superannuation or testamentary trusts and wish to minimise the tax liability of your Estate or for your beneficiaries.
Transferring wealth to beneficiaries – Your options
Choosing the most suitable way to transfer your assets to your beneficiaries depends on your personal and financial circumstances. Here are 4 options that you may like to consider:
You may find this option the most suitable when you:
- own Estate assets under the value of $500,000
- choose to give some or all of your beneficiaries special gifts
- have financial and personal obligations that are straightforward
- looking for a flexible way to distribute the proceeds from your Estate.
Estate Planning advice and complex Will preparation
You may prefer to receive Estate Planning advice and prepare a more complex Will when you:
- Own Estate assets including your primary residence that are worth more than $500,000
- Possess sizeable non-estate assets, for example, a family trust, self-managed superannuation or complex business structure
- Have beneficiaries that are financially, personally or professionally vulnerable
- Believe that there could be competing interests between children from a previous relationship or a former spouse
- Desire to leave your beneficiaries with a flexible and ongoing tax effective income stream
- Wish to benefit successive generations such as grandchildren
This option may be right for your personal and financial circumstances when you have a:
- Complex financial situation that may make managing your estate difficult and/or time consuming
- Complicated family structure
- View that your family and friends don’t have the knowledge or time to look after your Estate.
Alternatively, you may feel that trust administration may be a better option as you would like to:
- Protect vulnerable beneficiaries
- Ensure a surviving partner or parent is supported for the remainder of their life but also wish for the capital assets in the trust fund to benefit other people
- Fulfill philanthropic objectives including ongoing support for specific charities or purposes
- Set aside funds for family members to use for specific purpose, for example, the education of grandchildren
- Guard assets from commercial risks that may affect you or intended beneficiaries, for example, bankruptcy
- Minimise income tax liability by setting up a flexible structure that allows intended beneficiaries to split an income stream.
John Pearce is available at short notice by appointment during Business & After Hours including Weekends in Melbourne CBD and Eastern Suburb Office locations. You can book by calling 03 8648 6541 or via filling out the contact form below with your enquiry and contact details: