Estate planning and trusts
An estate plan can prevent major headaches for beneficiaries after your death, yet less than half of Australian adults have a will.
No one lives forever, yet less than half of Australian adults have a will.
Dying without a will can cause major headaches for beneficiaries. It may even see estate assets distributed in a way that the deceased would not have approved of.
Australia no longer has formal death duties, but capital gains tax and taxes on some superannuation benefits can act as de facto ‘death duties’.
An effective estate plan is therefore an important part of any comprehensive financial plan, helping to ensure the orderly transfer of wealth from the deceased to their chosen beneficiaries while minimising tax.
While many estate plans can be quite simple, there are several tools that can be used to craft more complex wealth transfer strategies.
These may be relevant in cases of larger estates with numerous beneficiaries, where there’s a family business, or where there are beneficiaries who have special needs or who are exposed to financial risks. Comprehensive estate planning advice is also a practical option for blended families.
Documents and structures that can be called upon to craft an effective estate plan include:
- Enduring powers of attorney
- Superannuation funds, including self-managed super funds
- Superannuation binding death benefit nominations
- Discretionary family trusts
- Testamentary trusts
- Non-superannuation investments
- Life insurance
- Business succession plans.
Choosing the appropriate tools and strategies requires a high degree of expertise, so it’s important to seek the advice of appropriately qualified specialists.
This may mean tapping the talent of more than one professional, including:
- An estate planning lawyer, who can prepare wills (with testamentary trusts if appropriate) and powers of attorney, and advise on the legal aspects of specific strategies
- A financial planner, who can identify strategies worth exploring, flag issues that need to be considered by the estate planning lawyer, and advise on the orderly disposal of assets as part of the administration of the estate
- An accountant, who can assist in establishing family trusts and, during the administration of the estate, prepare estate tax returns.
Talk to LDB
Working together, our financial planners and accountants can examine your situation and identify estate planning issues that may require attention. We can then refer clients to a qualified estate planning lawyer for specific legal advice and the preparation of wills and powers of attorney.
As part of the regular review of a client’s financial plan, we can identify any changes in circumstances that should trigger a review of the estate plan.
When the time comes, our financial planners and accountants can assist the executor of the estate with the sale of assets, advice on short-term investments during the administration of the estate, and the preparation of the necessary tax returns.
Do you have a will? If so, is it up to date? Are you sure it will deliver the best outcome for your beneficiaries?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, it’s time we had a chat.
Call us on (03) 9875 2900 or fill in the contact form below and take the next step towards designing an effective estate plan.
LDB Wealth Solutions Pty Ltd is an Authorised Representative (no. 257930) of LDB Financial Group Pty Ltd ABN 83 161 933 777
Australian Financial Services Licensee: Licence Number 437164
LDB Superannuation Services Pty Ltd is an Authorised Representative (no: 1253818) of LDB Financial Group Pty Ltd ABN 83 161 933 777