What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process where you decide what should happen to your assets and the control of any business or structure on your death. Preparing a Will is a key component of any estate plan, however, it consists of many other elements, such as the preparation of a Power of Attorney (your living Wills), Statements of Wishes, Shareholders’ and/or Buy-Sell Agreements in respect of any business interest and death benefit nominations in respect of interests held in superannuation, just to name a few.
When you pass away, only those assets which you hold in your personal name will pass under your Will (if you have one) or in accordance with the intestacy rules of that state or territory if you don’t have a valid Will at the time of your death.
Many people, however, also hold assets outside of their personal names, such as in privately owned companies, family trusts and self-managed superannuation funds. The assets held in these various entities do not automatically pass in accordance with what your Will provides, on your death and require some proper planning also.
Your Estate Plan
We can help you on:
- Advising/structuring your estate plan in a manner which will serve to defeat any will challenge on your death;
- Considering family law, creditor and tax planning issues for yourself and your family members;
- Preparing Statements of Wishes in relation to ‘your instructions’ to your executors of your Wills, trustees of your Trusts and attorneys for your financial and medical matters;
- Advising on and structuring the succession of your affairs and assets which are held outside of your personal name (i.e. assets held in trusts, private companies and Self-Managed Superannuation funds);
- Advising in relation to buy-sell and shareholders’ agreements in respect of business succession;
- Advising in relation to vulnerable beneficiaries;
- Advising on Centrelink implications and Special Disability Trusts;
- Preparing trust deeds, company constitutions and self-managed superannuation funds;
- Reviewing and advising on aged care facility Resident Agreements;
- Preparing and advising on Charitable Trusts.