Estate planning is an integral part of the financial planning process. This is an area that can be overlooked or even sometimes discounted. This can have grave consequences.
At VISIS we believe that ensuring the passing on of wealth to loved ones or even your favourite charity in the most tax effective way is not an additional service but a core service we provide. When you are talking about sums of money that people has amassed over a life time you can start to be looking at rather sizeable figures. If your estate planning is poorly structured, or even not structured at all, you can end up sending a large chunk to the Australia Taxation Office, or to someone you had not intended it to go to.
Some things to consider outside your will
- Superannuation – You should consider giving a binding death nomination to the trustee of your superannuation fund.
- Small business or partnership – this may be subject to a buy/sell arrangement with the other partners. In these circumstances your share of the business would automatically pass to the remaining partners (usually in exchange for the proceeds of an insurance policy).
- Power of Attorney – This is a legal document that appoints another person to make legal and/or medical decisions on your behalf. It is particularly useful should something happen where you are temporarily unable to sign documents.
- Do you need a Testamentary Trust? -This is a trust created in a person’s will, which is activated upon the death of that person. Instead of assets passing directly from one person to another, the assets are passed to the Testamentary Trust and then administered by the designated trustee – usually a family member, a trustee company, accountant or a solicitor.