To ensure ongoing financial security for you and your spouse
during your lifetimes; and
To secure a cost effective and seamless transition to your
nominated beneficiaries after your death in such a way as to
maximise the value of your estate.
Each estate plan needs to be tailored to the individual needs
and requirements of the client. However the process would usually
Obtaining an overview of your goals and objectives both during
and after your lifetime
Reaching an understanding of your assets, liabilities and
affairs. It must be understood that many "assets" would
not automatically pass under your Will, for example Superannuation,
joint tenancies, businesses or investments held in Companies or
Trusts will all need special attention.
Reaching an understanding of the Constitutions and other
documentation relating to any Company or Trust entities in which
you hold assets or in which you may have an interest.
Reaching an understanding of the financial and emotional needs
of your family, dependants, business associates and other relevant
parties and as to your level of concern in respect of those needs.
This will be of particular concern especially in the case of
Advising as to particular concerns about dependants who are
vulnerable because of physical or intellectual challenges or other
Advising on techniques which might be used to quarantine assets
for the long term benefit of family members notwithstanding that
they may at some time in the future encounter problems such as
bankruptcy or matrimonial disputes.
Advising as to ways in which assets might be left for the
benefit of your chosen beneficiaries in such a way as to minimise
the effect of income, capital gains, or other taxes.
Arranging for the preparation and execution of the documents
required to give effect to the Estate Planning.
The estate planning process will usually involve collaboration
between ourselves and your other advisors, such as accountants,
financial or business advisors.
Traditionally clients made Wills which simply provided for the
estate to be left to the surviving spouse or in the event of the
death of the spouse the estate to be divided between the children.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with this approach it
ignores many of the benefits which would be available to
beneficiaries if a carefully constructed estate plan had been
executed – for example
Under the traditional form of Will where you are leaving assets
to a Beneficiary who subsequently has financial or matrimonial
problems, those assets will be at risk. This risk can be minimised
Clients sometimes want to leave assets to children who are
young at the date of the Will. Unfortunately those children
frequently encounter financial, emotional or other difficulties as
they grow up and, depending on the individual circumstances, the
benefit of those bequests can be totally lost. There are a number
of ways in which these concerns can be minimised.
The typical "one size fits all" approach to Will
making would usually not cater for the particular problems or
concerns both present or future of individual beneficiaries. For
example a Will leaving a comparatively small legacy to a
beneficiary who happens to be obtaining some form of pension could
result in the loss of that pension.
Estate Planning is ongoing
Estate Planning is not a static process. An estate plan must be
reviewed and revised at intervals to meet changing circumstances
such as fluctuations in the financial circumstances of the relevant
parties, the impact of legislative changes or other relevant
factors, such as a deterioration in health of one or more of the
individuals involved in the process.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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