Estate planning is the consideration of how your wealth and assets are to be distributed on your death – by your will.
Depending on your circumstances, you may have a relatively simple estate or you may have a more complicated estate, such as if you have multiple businesses or investments, if you have a blended family or have been divorced.
Assessing your assets is one aspect of the process however, there are many factors to be considered including the likelihood of claims on your estate either by creditors or family members, the financial positions of your beneficiaries, taxation issues and the estate planning and asset protection measures undertaken by your beneficiaries. It may be that you require a will with testamentary trusts.
In addition to contemplating your demise, attention also ought to be given to the question of who would take care of your finances or make decisions about your welfare if you were unable to do so, for example if you suffered a serious illness or injury. You can determine who would undertake these functions for you by having a power of attorney and appointing an enduring guardian.
As well as planning for the division of your own personal assets on your death, where a business is being undertaken through a structure such as a company, partnership or trust, the continuation of that business after your death can also be arranged through appropriate documentation in addition to your will.
These ‘business wills’ as they are sometimes referred to can be augmented by buy/sell deeds, shareholders agreements, partnership deeds and unitholders agreements as may be appropriate.
For more information in relation to business succession and your personal estate planning requirements, please contact us to arrange a confidential appointment so we can tailor our advice to suit your specific circumstances and needs.
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