Estate planning focuses on wealth preservation and wealth transfer so regardless of whether times are good or bad, your objective should still be to distribute your wealth to your nominated beneficiaries in the most effective way.
The first step is ensuring you have a current and valid will. Despite a will being a simple document to prepare, many people die without having made a will, or die leaving a will that is out of date and which does not accurately reflect their current circumstances.
A will determines, among other things:
- who will be in charge of the administration of the estate
- how the assets of the estate are to be distributed after death
More than a will
While a will is certainly important to your estate plan, it is not the only consideration. You should also think about:
- Powers of Attorney
- Medical directives
- Testamentary trusts
- Business succession planning
Without sufficient planning, the trustee of your superannuation fund has discretion as to the treatment of any death benefits from your super. A binding death nomination ensures your wishes are fulfilled in the payment of benefits to your preferred beneficiaries.
Implications for SMSFs
As trustees and members, you effectively have ultimate control in the distribution of death benefits within your self managed super fund.
It is important you prepare a strategy for the payment of benefits to members’ chosen beneficiaries and incorporate the facilities to implement this strategy in your trust deed.
It will be necessary to make preparations for the wind-up of the fund in the event of the deaths of all trustees and members.
Find out more
It is never too early to start thinking about an estate plan. Download our Retirement and Estate Planning Brochure, talk to your Morgans adviser, or contact your nearest office to find out more.