Tools for Estate Planning

We trust you are all safe and well.

You may be interested to know that I tested for the Covid19 and the result was negative.  The experience was ok, you can answer our Premier’s call to get tested!

I went to the testing centre at Macquarie Park myself and as I tested negative, everyone at home is probably clear of it too.

With the talk of easing restrictions in New South Wales, we are seeing some increase in activity at our firm in Epping.  Many people have come into our office to see us about wills, buying and selling property.

Using testamentary trusts 

Wills prepared by a lawyer may include a testamentary trust that protects your assets and supports your vulnerable beneficiary.

Family Law Claims

While a basic or ‘simple’ will is sufficient for most people and we do many this way, you should be aware that your assets pass to each beneficiary directly.  This means that the assets you have passed on are at risk of Family Law claims.

If your beneficiary (usually a child) becomes involved in a marriage or de facto relationship that breaks down one day, the beneficiary’s former spouse may make claims against the beneficiary’s assets.

Having a clever will where you place your assets in a testamentary discretionary trust for your beneficiary, where your beneficiary is not the trustee, helps insulate their inheritance from Family Law claims.

On the other hand, Family Law claims are not a concern for many clients.  Our costs for a simple will start from as little as $550 and include appointing a guardian for your children.

Beneficiary Support Trust

A Beneficiary Support Trust is a special type of trust created under a will for one particular beneficiary where the beneficiary does not have any control over the allocation of the assets.  This is especially useful where there is a concern that the beneficiary may be unable to manage his/her own finances – for example, a child with an intellectual disability or a problem with drugs, alcohol or gambling.

The trustee would hold the asset and your supported beneficiary would receive the income.

Special Disability Trust

A Special Disability Trust is a trust created for one particular beneficiary who has a “severe disability” (as defined by legislation).  If the terms of the trust comply, assets in the trust are exempt from means testing by Centrelink and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (up to a maximum value of about $681,750 at the time of writing and this amount is indexed to increase annually).

For more information see – https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/special-disability-trusts/how-it-works/benefits

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