When it comes to estate planning – do you have everything in order?
In this latest blog, Confidential Tax & Business Services outline the importance of everything you should consider when discussing and planning your estate.
Estate Planning and Power of Attorney
While most people start with their will, this is only the beginning. Although having a will is extremely important, it only takes effect once you die. A Power of Attorney (POA), on the other hand, enables your assets to be dealt with while you are still alive in the event that you are incapacitated or there is a medical emergency.
There are different types of POA’s according to your circumstances and state laws. It is important that you consider and prepare these documents while you still have capacity.
Estate Planning Discussion
Effective estate planning is a process of thorough investigation, analysis, discussion, application of strategies and continuous review. A constructive estate planning discussion should consider the following:
- Asset protection – the protection of your wealth from marriage breakdowns, creditors (your own or that of your beneficiaries) and potential challenges to the estate.
- Taxation – each structure has its own unique tax implications. The family home, for example, can be sold capital gains tax free, while superannuation, retained profits and other investments carry with them an underlying tax obligation. This needs to be considered and often quantified when dividing up your assets.
- Testamentary trusts – these discretionary trusts, that are established by your will, are a critical element for asset protection and tax strategies. They are not for everyone, but you should discuss the pros and cons with your adviser.
- Superannuation – did you know that in some cases your superannuation may not even form part of your estate? This is the case if you have a binding death nomination or reversionary pension in place. There have also been some actual cases (confirmed by the courts) where unscrupulous children have paid a death benefit to themselves and left their siblings with nothing. Ensuring who is in control of your self-managed superannuation fund is critical.
- Executor – a person or people with the necessary skills and acumen is essential as this is a highly responsible and trusted position.
- Life insurance – in the event of premature death, life insurance is a must. This can be structured in a tax effective manner if written through your superannuation fund.
- Businesses – if you are in business with others, consideration of a buy/sell agreement is crucial. The last thing a business partner wants is to have to find the cash to buy out the surviving spouse, or find themselves in business with that person.
- Who owns your wealth – for example is the family home owned as tenants in common or joint tenants between spouses? Each is treated differently by your estate. Also ensure you know your capital gains tax cost basis. If the asset was purchased after 19 September 1985, the cost base is passed onto your estate and beneficiaries.
Estate Planning Advisory Service Brisbane
At CTBS we recognize the importance of estate planning for our clients and their families. We have created a specialist estate planning advisory service to help you protect your assets and your family.
We are here to help, so give our office a call on 07 3267 2111 to arrange an obligation free review of your circumstances.
CTBS can deliver you expert knowledge and guidance across a broad spectrum of business needs. We provide services in Asset Protection, SMSF Establishment and Advice, Financing, Business Advice & Compliance, Tax Planning and Restructuring.
Whether it be a service directly offered or a referred service such as legal advice, the team at CTBS will be able to provide a solution for your business. Call CTBS today or submit an online enquiry here.