Estate Planning

Estate planning is not as simple as organising a will - it encompasses a broad range of areas such as what happens to your assets after your death, through to who will make decisions on your behalf in the event you loose capacity.  The key function is to transfer ownership or your estate to the people you want in the most tax-efficient way possible.


Must do's:

Tax efficient asset transfer

Ensuring your estate is setup to ensure a tax efficient transfer, will ensure your estate is not taxed over and above the legal requirement.

Consider the need for Testamentary Trust

While not always needed, Testamentary trusts, can provide you with the flexibility and control to distribute your estate as you plan. This structure can be useful, when beneficiaries are not capable of managing their inheritance, due to age, potential disability or possible irresponsible money management.

Asset Protection

Blended families have become more common in recent years, and asset protection is crucial. Protecting assets from bankruptcy, relationship breakdowns, or beneficiaries with addiction, can be a sensitive issue, which requires professional financial advice.

Adequate provisions

Ensuring adequate provisions are made, can minimise the ability of potential beneficiaries to challenge your estate.

Government Benefits

The gift of an estate, can have a detrimental effect to a person's government entitlements, and as such it is important to consider each beneficiaries situation. There are a number of strategies to assist in minimising the effect on beneficiaries government benefits.

Dealing with incapacity

As uncomfortable as it may be, it is important to ensure you make provisions for who will be responsible for your medical and financial decisions in the event you become incapacitated.

Misconceptions / Don'ts:

Invalid Will

A homemade or poorly drafted will, may not constitute a legally binding will. Assuming a document is valid, may mean your assets and estate pass to the wrong person, or could lead to costly legal disputes by your beneficiaries.

Not Reviewing Will

Births, Deaths and Marriages are the big three events which usually prompt clients to review their will. Reviewing your circumstance regularly, is the only way to ensure you are not left with an out of date Estate plan in the event of a "Death". Common issues include leaving assets to former spouses or parents which results in costly legal battles.

Leaving super to kids

Naming adult children as beneficiaries of superannuation, can have some unforeseen tax consequences. You should always ensure you review your Binding Death Nominations (BDN) to ensure your beneficiaries are not subject to excess tax

Inadequate Provisions

As much as we want to, in Australia we do not have total control over our estates. Deliberately excluding dependents, although justified, may have a significant effect on the overall estate, as it is a requirement to make provisions for your dependents. Legal contests can be expensive and it is often faster and cheaper to ensure all potential beneficiaries are addressed as part of your estate plan.

The Public Trustee is for me

The Public Trustee often charges significant fees to administer your estate. While the fees may appear minimal compared to other options, the detail and level of service is very different to a financial advisor changing a fee for service. Advice : Proceed with caution. Compare products, outcomes, and service levels.

Elder Abuse / Fraud

The vulnerable in society, are easy targets for fraud and elder abuse. It is important to address this issue before it occurs by setting up a rigid system to protect your parents or loved ones, from falling victim to unscrupulous people.


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