Comprehensive estate planning is not just a suggestion—it is a necessity for anyone with a trust, company, or complex asset structure and for a smooth transition of your assets after your death.

In the complex world of estate planning, a Will, while essential, is often just the starting point.

For individuals with assets held in trusts, companies, or superannuation funds additional documents are required as a part of estate planning. Such assets, while controlled by you, may not be directly owned by you, making them ineligible for inclusion in a Will.

You may require additional consideration or documentation to deal with a portfolio that includes any of the following:

  • a discretionary trust for his share portfolio,
  • a unit trust owning commercial property,
  • joint venture business, or
  • a proprietary limited company managing its business.

The additional documents required cover everything from the transfer of shares to the appointment of new directors, appointors and trustees, highlighting the complexity and bespoke nature of effective estate planning.

If you have any of these in your portfolio then you certainly require some considered estate planning.

For example, transferring company shares or appointing new directors is straightforward. The Will alone cannot appoint directors, nor can it ensure the equitable distribution of shares among beneficiaries without potentially triggering legal and logistical challenges.


The management of trusts requires careful planning. The role of the appointor in a discretionary trust, for example, is crucial, as it allows for the removal and appointment of trustees.

In extreme cases disputes can arise with trusts as appointors can remove the trustee and appoint another individual to the role. Ensuring the right individual assumes this role upon your passing is paramount to maintaining the integrity of your estate planning and the beneficiaries receiving their distribution from the trust.

Why you might need more than just a Will:

Asset Ownership: Assets held in trusts, companies, or superannuation funds require specific strategies for transfer of control.

Legal and Financial Implications: Incorrectly managed, the transfer of assets can lead to significant legal and financial repercussions.

Family Dynamics: Tailored estate planning is crucial in blended family situations to ensure that all parties are considered and protected according to your wishes.

Your Next Steps:

Do not wait until it is too late.

Estate planning is a dynamic process that should fully encompass your current circumstances and allow for future changes. If you have any of the assets above and don't have a comprehensive estate plan, or if your situation has changed since you last reviewed your Will, we urge you to take action now.

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.