Checklist for estate planning

If you have any of the following more detailed estate planning may be needed:

(1)        Company; Family Trust; Self Managed Superannuation Fund

(2)        Life Insurance inside or outside superannuation

(3)        Young kids

(4)        Kids from 2 (or more) relationships

(5)        More than $2 million in assets excluding your house

(6)        Have in the family someone who is a drug addict or gambler, someone with matrimonial problems, someone at risk of going bankrupt or                           someone who could be sued for their work – Director, Lawyer, Doctor

(7)        A child or adult with a disability

(8)        A family with a farm as the family’s major asset

(9)        A large family business or company

(10)      Estranged children/family members

(11)      Living parents


Issues to consider when preparing a will or leaving money to someone

(a)        Consider all people – Spouse, Children, Child with disability, other dependants

(b)        Each entity and class of asset must be considered separately – super fund, Company, life insurance, family trust, shares etc

(c)        Is there a present or future tax burden – Income tax; Capital Gains Tax; Superannuation, stamp duty or land tax

(d)        Future care and management of a disabled person

(e)        What if a beneficiary divorces?

(f)         Can they manage their inheritance or will they blow it all in 3 years?

(g)        Who is a safe pair of hands to referee issues?

(h)        Protect against conflicts of interest

(i)         Not everyone can really be trusted

(j)         Design your Will for the future as well as for the present

(k)        Blended family – children from separate marriages

(l)         review the Will every 3 – 5 years

(m)         Could there be a challenge from any “eligible person” under the Succession Act (formerly known as Family Provision Act)