“Good fortune is what happens
when opportunity meets with planning.”
Thomas Alva Edison
Estate Planning – peace of mind that your land, money and belongings will go to who you want
Estate Planning is putting in place a plan that takes into consideration wishes of the testator in order to provide the most efficient and effective strategy to pass the estate assets to chosen beneficiaries.
For some people, a solicitor produced standard will is what they need to help ensure their estate is managed according to their wishes. Generally, if you have less than $300,000 in assets, and have a simple family structure with no children from a previous or current marriage, then the Standard Will may be satisfactory for you.
If your family circumstances are more complex or your total asset value is greater than $300,000 and you wish to ensure greater benefits for your beneficiaries, you might have to consider a Comprehensive Will which includes Testamentary Trusts.
Comprehensive Will with Testamentary Trust
A Comprehensive Will offers increased flexibility for your executor and beneficiaries, with three potentially crucial benefits:
Beneficiaries can choose to receive their part of the inheritance through a Testamentary trust which they control, instead of receiving assets in their own name. Such assets will be protected from bankruptcy.
Beneficiaries can take advantage of tax provisions for minors in relation to an income generated by a Testamentary Trust, hence minimising the tax.
Control by blood relatives
You have the option to limit beneficiaries to ‘blood’ relatives, therefore determine exactly who will or will not have access to the inheritance. This is increasingly important for complex families, with multiple marriages, children and stepchildren.
A comprehensive Will has many other benefits, however it is complex and differs for each person and family due to personal circumstances. For further discussion please contact me directly.
Remember however, that whichever Will you have, this legal document can only deal with assets you own personally. Therefore any assets owned jointly or via any other form of ownership (trust, company, superannuation) cannot be dealt with through your Will. This is where Estate Planning becomes complex and you should seek professional advice.
Superannuation needs special attention:
- death benefit needs to meet specific rules
- limit as to who can be a nominated death benefit beneficiary
- choice as to how the benefit is to be paid out
- Death benefit tax to be paid depends on who is the nominated beneficiary
Other documents you should establish when creating your Will:
- Financial & Medical Enduring Powers of Attorney
- Enduring Guardianship
This area is complex and the best outcome is always reached with cooperation between an Estate Planning specialist lawyer and a financial planner.