Steps you can take to protect your assets for the benefit of your family
It is essential that your intentions regarding distribution of property as well as your wishes in relation to the continuation of treatment are known and documented.
A will is a document which identifies your intentions and provides instructions as to the distribution of your assets when you die.
Depending on their relationship to you, family members will accrue rights under the will or in accordance with the law and sometimes those rights can conflict. Having a clear and up-to-date will is essential to avoid any conflict.
The way in which assets are passed via a will can impact on the beneficiary of those assets. Development of appropriate testamentary trusts will assist the beneficiaries to access those assets and assist with tax minimisation.
Testamentary discretionary trusts are particularly recommended if the beneficiary who will receive the assets:
- Has a disability.
- Is poor at handling his/her finances.
- Practices in a profession which has a high risk of litigation.
- Is in a high tax bracket.
- Has a history of bankruptcy.
In the event of conflict between beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries of an estate there are often significant emotions at play.
Good planning and open communication in the preparation of a will often avoids conflict or confusion.