Years of frustration about the gap between protecting wealth and finalising Estate Plans recently bore fruit when a group of lawyers and advisers launched Yodal, Australia’s most comprehensive Estate Planning platform.
You already know my position on the over-use of “disruption” in the business world. Now I am adding robo-advice to my list of catchphrases to question.
As we face an increasingly digital world – and come to understand that it’s not going away – there’s a mixture of emotions and questions: Does this new technology threaten my livelihood? Do I need to change my business model to compete/keep up with these developments? What is the opportunity to use this technology to my clients’ and my business’ benefit?
The best drafted Will in the world will not stand up when the legal obligations of a Will maker to provide for their family have been overlooked.
When completing your Estate Plan and choosing the Executor/s of your Will, it is natural to select from those closest to you, whom you trust. The chance that your Executor will double as a beneficiary of your Estate, or beneficiary of your non Estate assets such as superannuation, is therefore highly possible. But what happens when the personal interests of a beneficiary conflict with their duties as Executor, which are to act in the best interest of the Estate?
There is a need for all Australians to ensure they have an Estate Plan in place, which means more than just having a Will.
Most advisers are aware of the benefits of making a Family Trust Election (FTE) for carrying forward revenue losses, however less commonly considered are the advantages of making an FTE for franking credit trading measures.
A key piece of information you can pass onto those clients whose wealth is tied up in structures – most likely a large proportion of your client base – is that having a Will simply doesn’t cut it for transferring their wealth when they pass away.
It is likely that you have heard about the ATO’s recent Interpretive Decision determining that having a life insurance policy inside an SMSF, where the policy is a consequence of a buy sell arrangement, may be in breach of the sole purpose test. If you have not yet heard of this decision, you can read the details here. So what does this mean for your clients?
Trusts are useful tools in structuring your clients’ affairs; however care needs to be taken that each trust is set up appropriately, considering the long term benefit for your client.
The recent case of Verhelst v Tondeleir Pty Ltd as trustee for Verhelst Discretionary Family Trust & Anor reminds us of the dangers associated with families entering into trust arrangements without formulating clear objectives or giving sufficient consideration to matters of control.