One of the regular conversations I have with clients is about their Wills. Even after many years of having these discussions, it never ceases to amaze me how many competent business people have a Will that hasn’t been updated, or at least reviewed, in many years. Worse, the smaller, but still significant number who don’t have a Will at all.
A classic example would be one particular client proudly stating that he was well organised, forward thinking and most definitely had a Will.
Fair play to him – he did.
The only issue was that it was drawn up just after he got married – 28 years previously. In the intervening period he:
- had built and sold two businesses
- currently operates two other businesses
- raised three children and is doting grandfather to numerous grand-children
- has accumulated personal worth in the millions of dollars
A vastly different set of circumstances to those that he and his wife were living with when they first got married.
Together we reviewed his Will and it was evident almost immediately that existing provisions were completely inadequate and the document required updating as a matter of urgency.
Naturally, it could no longer be the straightforward Will he’d had prepared back when life was simpler. Nowadays there is considerable wealth in the family, a variety of complementary tax structures and complexities surrounding the children, their partners and the grand-children.
As an Accountant, I cannot write a Will for you. What I can do is assist you in the planning of the Will and advising your solicitor of your current personal financial circumstances with regard to assets and tax structures. This specialist advice helps ensure that your Will is not only drafted correctly but also incorporates the best tax and financial protection advantages for your beneficiaries.
In the case outlined earlier, we organised a Testamentary Trust structured Will giving the children asset protection of the assets from potential future litigants due to the nature of their professions and possible relationship disputes. Also, as each of the children had amassed their own personal wealth and were in high income tax brackets, the Will was designed to utilise the current and any future grand-children to reduce the level of tax applied to earnings of the Estate.
Do you or someone you know need help with Estate Planning? Circumstances change – make sure your Estate is protected and your plans for beneficiaries are both up-to-date and tax-efficient. Email me – Mark Calleja – at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 02 9923 2959.