Estate Planning

Accounting
You’re an executor and are thinking that the easiest and most efficient way to administer a deceased estate is to...
Estate Planning
I was reading the Australian's Women's Weekly the other day (as you do) when I came across an article about...
Estate Planning
Let's be honest, superannuation is definitely not the most attention-grabbing topic we can discuss. But here's the thing. Unless you...
An estate plan is not just a will
Estate Planning
Okay so you finally go around to doing your will. Well done! You will probably find that spending a little bit of time (and money) drafting your will goes a long way to giving you some peace of mind. But as important as it is having a will in place is not enough. You ought to consider the following: Do...
Loans by parents to children
April 2014 Issue 92
With the price for real estate, parents will often assist their children to obtain their first property by advancing money to that child. In happy times, it is of great assistance to the child. However, if that child's marriage fails, then the funds may be lost in the matrimonial settlement. In a recent case in the Family Court, a father...
SMSF trustees: lessons for the blended family
Estate Planning
In Wooster v Morris VSC 594 (1 November 2013), the trustees tried to say that a binding death benefit nomination or BDBN did not bind them. They had to pay the death benefits and the cost of the court proceedings which came out of the remaining member's account. The family in this case was a blended family. The deceased...
Do you have a business succession plan in place?
Estate Planning
All relationships come to an end. Personal relationships through death or divorce. Business relationships through death or retirement. So ending a business relationship may be planned (retirement) or unplanned (death or serious disability). If you are a small business owner, are you ready for these? If you were to be struck down by the proverbial truck tomorrow how would your...
SMSFs and separation
December 2013 Issue 89
As Neil Sedaka crooned "Breaking up is hard to do". But it is doubly hard if you are both members of an SMSF! In an SMSF, the individuals that "own" the fund have the dual role of trustee and member. This gives rise to problems that are unique to SMSFs. The individuals must separate their roles as trustee from their...
An estate planning checklist
Estate Planning
If you are a diligent reader of this column, then you will already be aware of the importance of having a valid will. However there are other things that you should do to make the lives of your executors and beneficiaries a lot easier. We have put together a checklist of some things that you ought to do before you...
The appointment of a testamentary guardian and family law
Estate Planning
A testamentary guardian is a person appointed under your will to be the guardian of your minor children in the event of your death. We often see clients after they have separated from the other parent of their children. Because you may hold the other parent in a less than favourable light, the question often arises - who will look...
Splitting a SMSF under the Family Law Act
Estate Planning
When a couple separates, superannuation is an important issue to be taken into consideration. Since the introduction of the Superannuation Guarantee in 1992, the amount of money in superannuation is ever increasing. When the superannuation is a self managed superannuation fund (SMSF), another layer of complexity is added. In an SMSF the individuals that \"own\" the fund have the dual...
Been left out of a will? What does “adequate provision” mean?
August 2013 Issue 85
A case last month (Brennan v Mansfield & Ors SASC 83) was one of the first cases of a will for a person in a same sex relationship. But what makes the decision more interesting is the discussion about what amounts to "adequate provision". Where a will maker does not make "adequate provision" in a will for their partner,...
Planning for loss of capacity in SMSFs
Estate Planning
We are all living longer. However, it is a sad fact that a longer life will see an increase in the inability to make decisions for ourselves. It is not uncommon to unexpectedly find yourself in the situation where someone else has to make important life decisions for you. This can be because of an accident, illness or aged related...
Gifts to self managed superannuation funds under your will
April 2013 Issue 81
Can you make a gift in your will to a self managed superannuationfund (SMSF)? Yes. But it is rarely used and potentially treacherous path. However,if you find a safe way through your beneficiaries could reap substantial rewards. Take the following scenario. Carlisle has two kids Jasper and Alice.Carlisle gets bad news from his doctor and he knows his time is...
Avoiding divorce from beyond the grave
Estate Planning
The law is full of unusual cases. Here is a recent case that went all the way to the High Court. The Husband and Wife had been married since 1971. They both had children from previous marriages. Their wills left their respective estates to the children from their first marriages. However, the house they lived in was in the name...
Going overseas? Don’t forget to pack your estate plan
Estate Planning
With the rise in the value of the Aussie Dollar many people are considering taking advantage of the exchange rate and squeezing in some overseas travel. One of your pre-trip preparations should be: "REVIEW ESTATE PLAN" Did you know that the risk of dying while travelling overseas averages out to around 1 in 5000? Compare that to the annual chance...
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