Don’t overlook the value of Powers of Attorney in estate planning

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Say “estate planning” and most people think of a Will.  But while a Will is an extremely important document, the value and importance of having an Enduring Power of Attorney as part of an estate plan should not be overlooked, says Anna Hacker, Wills & Estates Accredited Specialist at Australian Unity Trustees. “An Enduring Power of […]

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Which country, which will?

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The Victorian case of Re Tang [2017] looked at a raft of issues that arose when the deceased had assets in both Australia and China. The deceased was an Australian citizen who resided in China. Although, the majority of his personal estate was held in China the deceased did hold some personal assets in Australia. […]

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When inheriting from friends not family

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It’s not often that a person gets the chance to inherit the estate of someone who is not a member of their family.  But it does happen and has its own particular issues. Megan is a wealthy widow whose only family is a brother (Andy) she is not particularly close to.  Her closest friend is […]

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CPD: Estate planning in 2018

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There’s nothing certain in life but death and taxes, so the adage goes…however, another certainty is change – particularly when it comes to the financial services regulatory landscape. In the past year there have been several changes that may have impacted your clients’ estate planning strategies, and more change is in the wings. In this […]

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Beware the estate planning transfer balance cap

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So what is this “estate planning transfer balance cap trap” that can arise from adopting the mirror reversionary pension strategy? More importantly, is there a way to avoid it? Well, it all stems from how the Transfer Balance Account works. Let’s begin with a bit of a refresher: As we all know, the Transfer Balance […]

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Appointing a reversionary beneficiary

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We often get asked by clients, can a reversionary beneficiary be nominated after a pension has commenced? However, before nominating a reversionary beneficiary it is important to examine who can be nominated as a reversionary beneficiary. In order for a trustee to be able to pay a pension to a person nominated as a reversionary […]

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Five things you need to ask yourself in 2018

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If being more organised, or paying more attention to those you love (or a variation on either of those) are on your list of things to ‘be better at’ in 2018, then a key part of that will be making sure your Will and estate plans are in order. “The main thing is to ensure […]

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Family trusts more important than ever

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Family trusts have always been an important structure for business planning, tax planning and estate planning. This is mainly due to their tax efficiency, asset protection, flexibility and succession possibilities. But now, family trusts are increasingly being used for retirement planning purposes since the Government introduced more measures to limit the ability to make both […]

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Marriage equality: Remember to get expert advice on estate planning when tying the knot, says Equity Trustees

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With the survey result on marriage equality in (62% voted yes), and the prospect of wedding celebrations for same sex couples on the horizon, one of Australia’s largest independent executors and holders of more than 50,000 Wills has urged those planning to marry to remember to review their Wills. “There are some legal aspects that […]

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Digital footprints on death – why they matter

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Social media accounts live on after their creators die, and their existence can create uncertainty for estate executors as well as distress for family members, says Anna Hacker, national manager, Estate Planning at Australian Unity Trustees. “Digital footprints on death are an issue of growing importance as social media usage steadily proliferates – not just […]

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