Do you have a Will? Has it been updated recently? Have you adequately preserved your assets for your family?
By Phillip Leaman
15 May 2014
Many people have commercial and family structures, superannuation / self-managed funds and families with varying future requirements.
Over time, your circumstances change and so does the need to update your Will regularly.
A Will only deals with assets in a person’s name and is not effective in disposing of trust and company assets (except for loan accounts). When making a Will it is important that your tax and asset protection structures are examined and dealt with. It is necessary to make minor changes to ensure that a person’s wishes upon their death are taken into account.
Superannuation funds can only be distributed to a spouse, interdependent persons, children or the estate of a person. Consideration should be given to whether you should make a Binding Death Nomination. There are varying taxation consequences upon the making of such nominations. You should obtain advice in order to ensure that the maximum amount is available to potential beneficiaries after taking into account any tax liabilities.
Often a potential beneficiary may be in a position that if he or she receives a benefit under a Will that benefit may be at risk. For example, if there is a beneficiary who has a matrimonial property dispute, potential liabilities or are subject to a potential bankruptcy. If any of these situations apply to you, a Testamentary Trust could be created in your Will to help preserve the estate assets and keep them safe from attack by outside parties.
Testamentary Trusts are valuable tools in estate planning and dealing with taxation of income arising from an estate.
Where there are potential beneficiaries who are under a disability, then it is possible to establish a Special Disability Trust which has taxation benefits and does not affect Social Security entitlements. Such trusts can be established during the life of a person or in a Will.
Tisher Liner FC Law has considerable experience in the area of Wills and estate planning.
Each person’s circumstances are different and there is no “one shoe fits all” solution when it comes to Wills and estate planning.
We recommend that you take a moment out of your busy life to set up your family’s future by creating a Will or updating your old Will in order to better prepare for the future and to ensure that your assets are dealt with the way you want them dealt with and to achieve the best outcome for your family.