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Welcome Aboard, GFS!

Drumroll please... We’re thrilled to announce that Goodwin Financial Services (GFS) is joining Altus Financial, giving our clients access to even more market-leading wealth management expertise. GFS has forged a longstanding reputation as one of Sydney’s premi.....

Estate Planning - 3 min read

Making plans for after your death probably doesn’t rank high on your list of favourite things. But most people are surprised at how much peace and security they enjoy upon doing so. After all, when you know your loved ones will be cared for after you’re gone, you experience peace of mind and lower stress levels.

Estate planning ensures that all of your assets will be transferred to your chosen beneficiaries according to your wishes. People typically want their assets transferred efficiently and effectively, and you can make this happen through your Will and financial strategies.

The following are some factors to consider as you create your estate plan.

 

Your Will

When you die without a Will (also known as “dying intestate”), the courts will decide how your wealth should be distributed. Unfortunately, this circumstance may lead to unnecessary tax liabilities for your beneficiaries.

A Will is a document that directs the distribution of your assets. In your Will, you’ll need to appoint an Executor, a person you trust who will collect assets, pay off debts, and transfer assets to your inheritors.

A Will also makes provisions for minor children, including your wishes regarding guardianship. This document is crucial, and you must revisit it regularly. Your circumstances will probably change over time. You may wish to add or change beneficiaries. You might acquire or sell certain assets. By updating your Will every few years, you don’t leave anything to chance (or the courts).

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Your Super

In most cases, your superannuation is an asset that is excluded from your Will. That’s why you must name at least one beneficiary to every super account you’ve accumulated over your career.

Without a valid, binding beneficiary at the time of death, any benefit is distributed by the superannuation trustee. Typically, this gives the trustee discretion to decide who will receive the benefit.

Another option is to put a binding nomination in place to remove the trustee’s discretion. Eligible beneficiaries are detailed in superannuation legislation; they include your legal representative and your dependents (your spouse, children, and any other financial dependents).

 

Testamentary Trusts

A testamentary trust may offer several significant benefits to your estate planning strategy. Although the creation of the trust incurs some financial costs, you will have more flexibility and control over your estate.

As you explore your trust options, you’ll encounter several types, such as discretionary trusts and special disability trusts. You’ll appoint a trustee, and your trustee receives discretion to allocate income and capital among beneficiaries, broad powers of investment, and the ability to wind up the trust at any time. It’s an effective solution for caring for beneficiaries after you’re gone. Many parents of special needs children use trusts to care for their dependents.

 

Wealth Preservation

You’ve worked hard to prepare for the future and care for your family, and estate planning can help to preserve your wealth. From tax strategies to succession planning for the family business, we can help you to maximise the amount you and down to the next generation.

To speak with one of our knowledgeable wealth advisers, get in touch with us at Altus. We’ll work with you to develop an estate plan perfectly suited to your family and wishes. As your family grows and changes, we’ll help you make modifications, so you’re always prepared for the unexpected.

We look forward to talking with you.

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