Why it is more than just a Will
Estate Planning Overview
Estate planning offers peace of mind that personal affairs will be in order in case of sudden death or sudden inability to manage affairs. An estate plan structure varies according to personal circumstances but all structures aim to ensure that accumulated assets are managed and transferred according to an individual’s wishes in the most tax effective and financially efficient way.
Contrary to popular belief, estate planning is more than just having a Will. While a Will is important in estate planning, there are still other components in the process. Effective estate planning can address complex issues that a typical Will does not address. The Will only leaves the assets to specific people but does not protect the assets from bankruptcy situations, family law court hearings and minor’s tax, Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and stamp duty costs.
Points to consider
A Will cannot protect wealth or estate in case of litigation while the client is alive. It also cannot minimise the asset protection risks and tax implications of passing assets. It is good to have a Will but it will not guarantee much certainty as courts often override the wishes of the deceased.
Estate planning requires both an in-depth and holistic review of the client’s life circumstances that considers all the risks and factors associated with his or her assets. Estate planning must ensure that the interest of the spouse and children are protected and that there are asset protection safeguards in place. It should also minimise the effects of CGT on the bequest.
Understanding the significance of “How assets are transferred” vs “Who they are transferred to”.
The Will must have a comprehensive strategy to make sure that all bases are covered to preserve and smoothly transfer the wealth to the right people. It is important to know how the wealth will be transferred and who the beneficiaries will be.
For those looking for stronger asset protection, accounting firms like Chan & Naylor offer tailored products such as the Family Estate Agreement™. As an example, this agreement is a three part-process that creates a legally binding obligation to move ownership of your assets on death, to a specially designed family lineage trust which ensures that only blood relations can have beneficial ownership of the assets.
If you would like to know more about estate planning, you can click here to find out more about Chan & Naylor services. You can contact us directly or online by leaving your details on our page, we can even schedule a no-obligation consultation at your convenience if desired.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be overwhelming and a good place to seek help is through your accountant, who can also refer you to other professionals if needed. Aside from estate planning, some of the areas you may need help with include superannuation, taxation, property investment, asset protection and more.
We hope that we have given you some helpful advice on estate planning. Any comments and questions are welcome.