Understanding estate planning
Careful planning for the distribution of your estate involves protecting the assets you have worked hard to acquire, and ensuring their safe and smooth transfer to your loved ones.
Nine key estate planning considerations
An effective estate plan should:
- Give you certainty as to how your assets will be managed if you are incapacitated and unable to look after your own affairs.
- Establish how and when it’s best to distribute assets to your loved ones.
- Cater for the current and future needs of your beneficiaries.
- Protect your assets so that they pass to the right beneficiaries at the right time.
- Allow your beneficiaries to legally reduce capital gains liabilities on assets and reduce or eliminate tax on income generated from their inheritance.
- Allow you to minimise or avoid death benefits tax (which can be as high as 32 per cent) when distributing your superannuation benefits.
- Protect your beneficiaries’ inheritance in the event of divorce or bankruptcy.
- Guard against undue waste and extravagance due to spendthrift tendencies, age, mental health, drug addictions, gambling or other vulnerabilities of a beneficiary.
- Distribute your assets to your intended beneficiaries, not to an in-law or former spouse, for example.
Creating your legacy plan
You’ve worked hard to accumulate your wealth, so it makes sense to take the time to carefully consider how your estate can be passed on to your family and loved ones in a straightforward manner.