What is Estate Planning?
It refers to the process of meeting with a solicitor to discuss how you wish to leave your assets and debts after you die. There are many issues to discuss depending on the complexity of your family situation and your financial affairs.
Superannuation does not form part of your estate. It cannot usually be gifted in a Will.
Therefore, as part of estate planning discussion, super requires discussion to ensure there is certainty of where it is paid after you die.
Self managed super funds have added issues such as who will control the fund after you are unable to, perhaps due to reduced capacity eg. dementia or death.
After the discussion appropriate Wills will be drafted and other documents such as a power of attorney and a guardianship appointment.
In addition, assets in family trusts and companies cannot be gifted in a Will. Control of these entities are often just as important as how the assets they own are dealt with.
Family Trusts & Companies
How do we deal with our family trust in the estate planning process?
Assets owned by a discretionary family trust are not owned by a particular person. By their very nature they are discretionary and so until the trustee decides who gets what, which may not be until the trust ends, ownership is not absolute.
We look to see who controls the trust and discuss with you who will control it after you die or if you are not able to control it anymore due to incapacity or retirement.
If the trust is run by a company you are probably the director and owner of the shares either yourself or with your spouse or some other family member.
The shares in the company are an asset that you can leave in your Will.
Whoever owns the shares in the company has control over who is appointed director, unless the constitution says otherwise.
My business is run by a company
A company may be used for business. Succession issues are important to discuss if it is your business and you are not able to work due to sickness or death.
Get in Touch
Contact us today by phone or email to discuss your estate planning.