Effective estate planning

Estate planning is important to you, your family and anyone you would like to nominate as a beneficiary.

Arranging your affairs now can ensure that there is a clear and tax effective distribution of your estate after your death.

You need to have the right structures in place to effectively manage complex business, legal, family investment and tax situations, and these require careful and considered planning. Estate planning is an ongoing process that should begin when you have a significant asset base. With families becoming increasingly more complex, estate planning has become even more important. This includes drawing up a will, establishing family trusts, nominating legal executors and so on. Developing an effective estate plan will ensure that:

  • Tax payable is minimised
  • The ownership of assets passes to the right heirs
  • Assets are protected in any beneficiary needs to defend claims against your estate

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Your Will

Estate planning often starts with the drafting of a will – a professionally drafted will should ensure that your estate is distributed to the intended beneficiaries. A will can cover things such as;

  • How your assets will be allocated and to whom,
  • The establishment of trusts, such testamentary, protective or family trusts or even charitable trusts, for the ongoing protection and management of your assets,
  • Donations to charities,
  • Who will be appointed as your executor and trustee,
  • Who will be appointed as the guardian for your children if they are minors and more?

According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, it is estimated that nearly half of all Australian die without a will, or “intestate”. If you don’t have a valid will your assets may be taken by the relevant State government.

Depending on how you plan to distribute your assets your beneficiaries may end up with a large tax bill, because of tax implications, including Capital Gains Tax. There are ways to minimise taxation, for example:

  • Insurance policy proceeds from your superannuation fund are tax-free if paid to dependents,
  • A Capital Gains Tax liability can be deferred if the beneficiary is given an asset if the asset is sold they may be liable,
  • Trusts can be useful in helping to minimise tax.



Tax implications aside, it is important that you have a well-planned and maintained estate plan. There are so many things to consider that cannot be covered off by a simple brochure such as this, such as;

  • Choosing the right Executor,
  • Incorporation of Testamentary or Discretionary Trusts
  • Setting up a Binding Death Benefit nomination or Non-lapsing Death Benefit nomination for your superannuation
  • Appointing an enduring Power of Attorney and a Guardian

At Bentleys, we are passionate about ensuring that your estate plan works the way you intend it to work. We have the knowledge and experience to establish the right trust for you and provide the right results for your beneficiaries. Call us today and we will help you achieve your financial goals.

Some of these services must be performed by an Australian Financial Services Licence holder or through an authorised representative. Your closest office can direct you to the correct advisor.

The information provided by Bentleys does not constitute financial product advice and is for general information only. It is written without taking into account any individuals personal objectives, situation or needs, and is not intended as professional advice. Any person acting upon such information without receiving specific advice does so entirely at their own risk. Please contact your Accountant to discuss your personal situation before relying on this information.


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