Estate Planning

Updated on 3rd February'2014

  • Do you have a valid will?
  • When was it last reviewed?
  • Do you know who has access to copies of your legal documents?
  • Have you appointed a reliable executor?
  • Is adequate planning in place in the event of illness or incapacity?

All good financial planning BEGINS with estate planning

After all, what's the point of any of this if you die tomorrow? Next week? Next year?

Estate planning is more than just asset distribution. Besides ensuring your capital doesn't fall into the wrong hands, estate planning allows you to stipulate the amount each beneficiary receives.

A complete estate plan will allow you to retain control of your assets & determine who will make decisions on your behalf. Its essential to talk to a legal professional such as a lawyer and/or your solicitor for advice related to estate planning. I can do this on your behalf, at your request.

The core elements of sound estate planning

Estate planning has two primary aims:

  • Protecting your next of kin from suffering financial hardship
  • Providing clear documents to minimise family disputes

Ideally your plan should be cost-effective, simple to understand & easy to implement with regular reviews when your circumstances change.

Ultimately you will need to provide adequate financial safeguards for dependents while maintaining a level of assets & income for a comfortable retirement.

The following list provides a guide to what's involved;

  • Asset protection; insure your investments & wealth against market risks & unforseen economic impacts
  • Probate avoidance; if your aim is to avoid Probate choose a trust rather than a will
  • Avoidance, minimisation & deferral of tax liabilities
  • Plan for illness, incapacity & for the continued care of minors. This includes income protection/insurance
  • Selecting the right people to administer your estate plan & act on your behalf (guardians, power of attorney)
  • A clear strategy for passing on (succession) of a family business
  • A plan or directions for forming family limited partnerships & other business entities

Will I need an estate plan?

You can seek the advice of your lawyer & financial planner but estate planning may be relevant if;

  • You have significant assets including superannuation savings & investments as well as life insurance
  • You are responsible for a family business & wish to pass it on
  • You have dependants that require special & ongoing care such as young or disabled family members
  • You have family debts, capital losses & property that incurred capital gains tax
  • You wish to make a charity bequest
  • You require flexibility for specific reasons, such as tax avoidance or the arrival of a new family member

Trusts & estate planning

Establishing a discretionary trust can provide assets & income to a specific person or group. This can be done through your will, which is a tax effective method for bequests to underage beneficiaries or providing funds for education expenses.

It is important to consult a professional for assistance with trusts;

  • They are complex & require solid financial & legal expertise
  • You need to make sure the structure is flexible enough to withstand future changes to your family situation
  • You must consider the implications of future social & economic changes & insure against risks

Contact Me

M:  0430 47 27 18
E:  david.moses@aquariuspwm.com.au
W:  www.aquariuspwm.com.au

Postal address in WA
PO Box 2086 Ellenbrook WA 6069

 

Postal address in NSW
PO Box 59 Forestville NSW 2087