As a Board-Certified SAPEPAA Adviser, and as EPI-centre’s Chief Strategist, I want to share with you highlights of the five key benefits of having a strong and secure Family Wealth Protection plan in place. A well-structured plan can help safeguard your family’s assets from potential threats such as litigation, family law actions amongst your childrens’ or grandchildrens’ relationships and contested wills. Now, a new threat to consider, the expected reintroduction of both gift and death duties in Australia, predicted by EPI-Centre for soon after the next Federal Election. These Budget Repair measures have the potential to clip the size of any baby-boomer’s inheritance intended, in time, for your chosen beneficiaries and bloodline. So, think now about “living trusts” !
Additionally, I would like to briefly canvass the necessary steps to take as a precaution for the possible events of serious incapacity…..or death. The answer is NOT just a well-drafted Will!
Preservation of Family Wealth: A comprehensive Family Wealth Protection plan ensures that your family’s hard-earned and inherited assets ( including your superannuation) are preserved to fund your (hopefully) long retirement…….. and otherwise for your bloodline of future generations. This includes implementing strategies to minimise taxes, protect assets from creditors, and manage wealth in the most efficient way possible. Expect the reintroduction of “death duties” to carve out from your Estate an inter-generational wealth transfer duty……potentially 20% of an Estate exceeding $500,000!
Minimisation of Legal Disputes: A carefully drafted Protective Estate Plan can reduce the likelihood of disputes among family members and potential challenges to your chosen distribution of your family wealth for your bloodline. By providing clear instructions and addressing potential issues in advance, you can minimise the risk of costly, divisive and time-consuming litigation.
Protection from Family Law Actions: In the event of a divorce or separation across the generations, a well-structured Family Wealth Protection plan can shield your legacy from family division. By employing timely SAPEPAA strategies , such as “living trusts” ……a Family Protection Trust, your assets can be protected, for your intended beneficiaries and for future generations.
Assurance of Proper Care in Incapacity: A comprehensive Family Wealth Protection plan includes documents that address your care in case of incapacity. By designating trusted individuals to make healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf, you can ensure your wishes are respected and that you receive the appropriate care in such circumstances.
Peace of Mind: Knowing that your family’s financial future is secure can provide you with peace of mind. By planning ahead, you can have the confidence that your family will be well taken care of, even in the face of unforeseen challenges.
Ahead of the unexpected events of incapacity or death, it is crucial to have a plan in place to manage your affairs. ( ie not just a Will . ) This includes:
- Compile and save an “Estate Planning Record” with a summary of your assets and entities + access details, with diagrams, to inform those who need to understand your affairs in the future.
- Updating your will and trust documents to reflect your current wishes and circumstances and providing a barrier against outsiders into your family wealth.
- Designating a power of attorney for healthcare and financial decisions you may be unable to make yourself.
- Creating a “living will” or advance healthcare directive to provide instructions for your medical care.
- Ensuring your desired succession of your power of appointment for the trustee of any trusts you control. (Upgrade trust deeds to a “Leading Member” deed with cascading control to your chosen successors).
- For SMSF members, replace ineffective BDBN with a SMSF Will, and consider scope for a testamentary trust to receive deceased member distributions ( see our briefing note on this new strategy)
- Reviewing and updating beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other financial instruments.
- Ensuring that your attorney, executor, or trustee are aware of their upcoming responsibilities and have access to the necessary documents and information to fulfil your wishes.
Our specialist award-winning Succession, Asset Protection and Estate Planning Chief-Strategist is committed to helping you and your family navigate the complexities of Family Wealth Protection and Protective Estate Planning, focussed on your bloodline for generations to come. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a discovery consultation to discuss your specific needs and goals.
John Gowing FCA EPI-centre Founding Director and Chief Strategist
SAPEPAA Board Certified Succession, Asset Protection, and Estate Planning Adviser