Estate and Succession Planning

You can’t take it with you, but you can leave a lasting and meaningful impression behind

People busy building their wealth during their life often fail to properly address the transition of wealth in their retirement years or on their death, until it is too late. Careful attention to one’s estate and succession planning in the light of their ownership structure is crucial. Estate and succession planning is preventative rather than reactive and our experience in Wills, estates and trusts litigation is that a lot of disputes can be prevented with proper planning from the outset.

An estate and succession plan involves more than just a Will to deal with the entirety of their wealth. Whilst this may have been the case many years ago, it is very common for Australians to now hold assets or businesses in a range of entities including trusts, companies and self-managed superannuation funds which need to be carefully considered in an estate and succession planning context.

Applying our expertise in estate and succession planning, we work alongside financial planners, accountants, other legal practitioners and directly with clients to advise on and implement strategies to transition wealth to one’s intended beneficiaries. In doing so, we:

  1. Advise on which documents are necessary to achieve one’s objectives
  2. Draft Wills with appropriate testamentary trust mechanisms to minimise beneficiary creditor risk, enable a tax-effective minimisation strategy post-death and potentially quarantine inheritance from family law division
  3. Draft binding death benefit nominations to deal with superannuation death benefits
  4. Review terms of trust deeds to ensure control passes as intended and preparation of succession deeds as necessary
  5. Review and draft business succession or co-ownership agreements necessary for a smooth transition
  6. Prepare tailored family agreements, family constitutions and governance rules for high net worth family businesses and investments for the next generation to minimise disputes between members of the next generation
  7. Advise on family office arrangements and draft necessary documents to achieve a family office structure post death
  8. Prepare powers of attorney in respect of financial, medical and personal lifestyle decisions (tailored as necessary) to operate during one’s lifetime