Planning for your family’s future after you’re gone is a really important legal task. Yes, everyone should have in place a succession plan.
The reality is that the day will arrive that you will need to leave your business or your place of employment, whether by selling up, retiring or leaving for health reasons. It is very important to have a succession plan in place that makes the transition easy not only for yourself but also for your family or employees and minimises the chances of the business having to be sold up when you leave.
Estate planning is not simply drafting a will, it also requires a consideration of numerous other matters including:
- The assessment of assets and liabilities
- The assessment of likely taxation implications
- Advice regarding the possibility of claims against the estate by third parties
- The isolation and protection of assets
Estate planning is an active ongoing process of re-evaluating the estate when circumstances in life change, for example:
- Marital status alters;
- You are to receive an inheritance or the family’s asset pool is otherwise altering;
- A change in working conditions such as the buying or selling of a business;
- Changes to superannuation, insurance policies or taxation levels
- Considerations include the establishment of discretionary trusts
A successful plan is made involving all family members as it will take into account not only provisions for your retirement income but also the plans, aptitudes and existing assets of younger generations.
Clearly, part of the Estate planning would also involve drafting an effective legally binding Will and Testament you can save your family not only stress but money in what will undoubtedly be a difficult time for them.
At the same time as considering your Will we strongly recommend that you also put in place plans for any future incapacity through Power of Attorney and Guardianship documents. This will ensure that if you somehow become unable to make decisions about your finances, your medical treatment or living arrangements then the person or persons who you trust to make these decisions can do so unhindered.