Where do you want to see your assets end up?
In the hands of the government, or with friends, family, a trust or charity?

Getting your affairs in order is vital to ensuring your assets are directed to the people you want – your intended beneficiaries. You don’t want your assets falling into the wrong hands if you could have prevented it.

When it comes to your beneficiaries

Here are some things to consider:

The direction of assets.

Your superannuation death benefits, including those of you who have a Self-Managed Super Fund.

The Direction of Life Insurance proceeds (both within super and non-super insurance benefits).

Tax and Social Security implications.

Asset protection (risk of bankruptcy and divorce/separation).

Superannuation death benefits

Paid either as a lump sum or as a pension to certain dependants – eg: 

A spouse 

Children (generally adult children cannot receive a pension)

Any person financially dependant on you at the time of death

Any person who had an interdependency relationship with you immediately before your death

Life Insurance Proceeds

If the life insurance is a part of your super, then the proceeds can be paid directly to a dependant or an estate.

Outside super, proceeds can be paid to a Nominated Beneficiary or Beneficiaries, which cannot be ignored or overturned by the life insurance company.

There is no need for beneficiaries to be dependants (unlike in Super).

Estate Planning is a complex world

As with so many financial matters, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. However, there is usually a method that is most appropriate for any given situation. An experienced and knowledgeable financial adviser will be able to sit down with, listen to your circumstances and intentions, and then devise the best plan going forward to ensure your estate lands where you want it to.

We are proud to align with several estate planning lawyers who can assist you with the preparation of your will, enduring power of attorney and advanced care directives.

To discuss your estate planning needs, please contact one of our trusted advisers.

Methods of Estate Planning

Protect your beneficiaries with a Testamentary Trust

Understandably, the biggest concern our clients have is ensuring their assets are distributed as intended and administered efficiently. The last thing you want is your beneficiaries to receive the assets only for them to be whittled away by unforeseen circumstances. A Testamentary Trust can be used to protect your beneficiaries from:

Incurring tax on income earned through an inheritance.

Paying higher rates of tax (due to their high personal marginal tax rate).

Claims from marital or commercial breakdowns.

Waste or indulgence by the beneficiary.

Vulnerable beneficiaries (eg: disability, spendthrift, gambling, drug addiction).

Misuse of funds reserved for education (eg: school and tuition fees).