…. is more than just a Will!
Estate planning has been described as involving the arranging of assets and circumstances to ensure that a person, during their lifetime, and their chosen beneficiaries after their death, derive maximum use and enjoyment from those assets at a minimum cost in tax and duties.
Estate planning for most people contains three elements :
- Protection of existing assets from predators and creditors. In an increasingly litigious world, it is important to protect your accumulated wealth. This may include the quarantining of your personal assets from your business activities.
- Growth of assets. This involves financial planning for the purposes of building wealth to achieve your financial goals. This entails planning from your current financial position to maximise income and capital growth opportunities in the future.
- Distribution of assets upon your death to intended beneficiaries, taking into account your current assets, tax structures and personal wealth.
Protecting and minimising the risk to the assets inherited by estate beneficiaries from events such as bankruptcy, legal actions and family law proceedings.
Consideration of an estate plan depends upon whether :
You have sizeable assets and/or the personal circumstances of your beneficiaries require the creation of more complex trusts within your will.
You have vulnerable beneficiaries with special needs.
Your investment or business structures are complex and may include a family discretionary trust, a self managed superannuation fund or a private company.
You wish to minimise the tax liability of your estate or your beneficiaries, for example via superannuation or testamentary trusts.