Hall & Wilcox is committed to providing a straightforward, step by step process to achieve your succession planning goals. There are a number of points to consider in your succession planning.
Your Will is the essential part of your succession planning, as it sets out how your assets will be distributed on your death.
There are a number of important parts to your Will.
Your executor is the person who administers your estate after your death.
It is usual for couples to appoint their spouse as executor, and then to appoint their children (if they are able to act), or family members or close friends to act as alternate executors.
The alternate executors would only act if the first executor cannot act or has died.
Gifts to individuals or charities
You may want to make specific gifts to family members, friends or charities. These can be set out in your Will as specific gifts.
Your residuary estate
Your residuary estate is all of the assets left in your estate after paying your debts, funeral and other expenses, and any gifts.
You may consider passing your residuary estate to your spouse and then to your children or family members on the last of you to die.
Many people use testamentary trusts to distribute their residuary estate.
A testamentary trust is similar to a family discretionary trust, however, it does not come into operation until your death.
Testamentary trusts provide many benefits including:
- asset protection from creditors (as the assets are held by the trustee for the beneficiaries of the trust)
- some protection in family law disputes (depending on the circumstances)
- taxation benefits, including the ability to make distributions to a wide range of beneficiaries (determined by the trustee) allowing for tax effective distributions and
- there are also concessions for children under 18 years, which allow around $20,542 per year (as at 1 July 2017) to be distributed to each child tax free.