No one likes to consider the inevitable, but having effective estate planning in place is vitally important. Not only to ensure that your final wishes are carried out and to make sure that your family will be left financially sound, but also to ensure that should you at any point be unable to make financial or medical decisions for yourself, that a person or people of your choice are able to make those important decisions for you.
We will undertake an in depth analysis of your current circumstances and any succession issues that need to be addressed. We will then provide recommendations for action and referrals to associated professionals who will assist you in the delivery of considered and comprehensive estate planning documentation.
Decisions with respect to your estate planning, including Wills, Powers of Attorney, Advance Care Directives, Guardianship, superannuation assets, insurance policy death benefits, Family Trusts (discretionary) and Testamentary Trusts and Business Succession must all be handled appropriately to ensure wealth passes to those intended in the most tax efficient manner possible.
Your Will is a legal document which provides clear instructions on how your estate is to be handled and distributed. It is the only way to ensure that your wishes are met and to provide security and avoid unnecessary difficulties for your family after your death.
It is important to note however, that a Will only covers those assets that you actually own. Many people have assets they control but do not own, such as company assets, trust assets and even their superannuation. Ironically, this can be where most of your family wealth lives so we have developed strategies to manage the transfer of your wealth so that the maximum benefit applies.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you appoint a person of your choice to manage your financial affairs if you are unable to do so due to illness, an accident or your absence. It can be for a fixed period of time (Enduring) or to perform a specific task, and can be revoked by you at any time providing you are of sound mind.
Advance Care Directives
An Advance Care Directive provides a single document to record our wishes and preferences about how we live our lives instead of having three different documents: the former Enduring Power of Guardianship, Medical Powers of Attorney and Anticipatory Direction. It gives another person the power to act on your behalf to make health and lifestyle decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
Business Succession Planning
Business succession planning is having business owners pre-agree a commercial and legal strategy that deals with events that would result in the exit of an owner from the business in the future. The exit of an owner may be something planned, such as retirement, or unplanned, such as death or total and permanent disability.
The business needs clear agreements as to what happens with the exiting owner's shares and the funding mechanism for buying out that owner once they leave. This may include insurance or agreed changes to cashflow.