As society’s wealth increases so does the complexity of the structures which individuals hold their assets. For example, there are many types of asset structures/asset holdings which may or may not be going be governed by a person's will. For example:
- Superannuation (both retail superannuation and self-managed super funds);
- Family Discretionary Trusts;
- Unit Trusts;
- Jointly held assets; and
A Will alone most likely will not be able to deal with all these asset classes.
What's included in an 'Estate'
Estate Planning should encompass a full review of your asset structures and the documents creating them. For example:
- Your Self-Managed Super Fund Trust;
- Previous and current Will;
- Previous Powers of Attorney;
- All binding or non-binding death benefit nomination forms;
- Family Trust Deed (and all deeds of variations);
- Unit Trust Deeds;
- Company statements and constitution;
- Joint tenancies;
- Company or shareholder agreements;
- Life insurance policies (especially where there is a nominated beneficiary); and
- Partnership agreements, by-sell agreements
Determining who will control your various assets and asset structures requires careful consideration. For example, if your assets are held in a Family Trust then you need to consider:
- Who you intend to leave your shares in the corporate trustee;
- Who will become the appointor or principal of the Trust as this person has the ultimate power to remove a Trustee from office;
- How to deal with any money owed to you by the trust (known as unpaid present entitlements) as these will form part of your personal Estate;
Our Estate Planning specialists can provide professional advice which is invaluable for making sure you cover all grounds to ensure your Estate is adequately protected following your death or in the event you lose capacity.
Contact OMB's Wills and Estates team today!
Will & Estate News
See attached news articles by OMB for more information and recent developments in this area of law: