Peter Cramer, Kerry Schultz & I hosted an “Asset Planning” seminar in our offices last week with a full house of over 50 attendees present as well as 12 people listening in via our online webinar.
The main topics covered during our session centred around protecting your assets as well as looking at ways to effectively plan the passing of your assets via your Estate.
There were 5 key strategies we worked through during the presentation. These were:
- Creating Certainty – by ensuring that when you die (or even before you die) your assets end up in the hands and/or control of your desired beneficiaries;
- Asset Protection – protecting your assets from business risk whilst you are alive, by owning them in the correct vehicle (which may include a Trust or Superannuation Fund). This also includes protecting “vulnerable beneficiaries” from potential unstable relationships, their inability to manage their finance, from their gambling, drug or alcohol addiction or from their high risk occupation;
- Superannuation – as a potential vehicle to provide for your retirement due to the generous taxation incentives provided to taxpayers;
- Taxation Savings – this topic emphasised that there are many taxation consequences upon death that are completely misunderstood. The majority of the population have very little idea as to what happens from a taxation point of view to assets that are transferred to beneficiaries from a deceased person’s estate as well as death benefit payments that are made to beneficiaries from a superannuation fund. We also explored how taxpayers can look at triggering large capital gains on transferring assets to other family members (such as children) during their lifetime, without paying any capital gains tax by using small business concessions. This is an opportunity that is consistently overlooked by business owners!
- Control – Peter Cramer emphasised the need to have the right person in control of your affairs and tax/legal structures, at the right time, to make decisions when you cannot, because of incapacity or death.
The simple thing that you can do in the first instance is to meet with the experts at Green Taylor Partners to review your current tax structures and Will. We will be able to show you what the consequences would be in the event of your death or incapacity as far as control of your assets, taxation positions, potential for Will challenge and in whose name your assets would end up.
The results of this process alone should provide you with enough answers to determine whether the plans you have for the eventual transfer of your assets are in good order or whether action needs to be taken.
One thing we are continually alarmed about is the instance of people not having an up to date Will as well as people not having Enduring Power of Attorney documents in place. If you haven’t got these documents – you need to!