Minimising assets in an estate that is subject to challenge

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Brian Hor at Townsends Law thinks there should be some thought given and preparation around seeking to minimise challenges to an estate by making pre-emptive decisions, such as: Transferring assets before death Transferring assets during the owner’s lifetime to one or more persons being the intended beneficiary/ies of the assets after the owner’s death. Depending […]

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What is collaborative intergenerational estate planning?

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Example 1: Planning while family is able to decide It’s estate planning which involves thinking outside the immediate family unit and looking at future generations. A key issue is in protecting assets for generations from creditors and unexpected financial threats. Let’s say you’re a medical doctor in sole practice, so you’ve been very careful over […]

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10 ways to protect your SMSF from loss of mental capacity

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If you have a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), you need to plan ahead to ensure that it can still keep going if you lost mental capacity due to dementia (or other reasons such as suffering a stroke). Otherwise the fund’s assets and operations could be frozen, resulting in losses from being unable to buy or […]

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Life insurance estate-planning trap with proposal to transfer small accounts

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The Government’s Budget proposal to strengthen the ATO-led consolidation regime by requiring the transfer of all inactive superannuation accounts where the balances are below $6,000 to the ATO.  The aim being to reunite these inactive superannuation accounts with the member’s active account may have drastic unintended consequences where a member has deliberately maintained a small […]

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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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Family trusts – a growing force in the Australian economy

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Family trusts have always been an important structure for business planning, tax planning and estate planning, mainly due to their tax efficiency, asset protection, flexibility and succession possibilities. Increasingly, they are being used for retirement-planning purposes following the Government’s introduction of more measures limiting the ability to make both concessional (up to $25,000 per year) […]

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Are tailored BDBNs the magic bullet for SMSF estate planning?

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A tailored BDBN is one which is subject to special conditions which can make it useful to deal with various modern estate planning issues. One common condition is to impose a “cascading” succession of nominees in case the primary nominee fails to survive the fund member or fails to remain an eligible recipient of the death […]

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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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Townsends Law response to the Opposition’s comments on discretionary trusts

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To say businesses or families are using family trusts in order to evade tax is absolute nonsense. Overwhelmingly, they use trusts for two main reasons, firstly, for legitimate asset protection. Without trusts we would see a lot less entrepreneurship and risk taking by Australian business. Secondly, for business succession and estate planning. Owning assets in […]

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BDBNs and life insurance in super: beware the transfer balance cap trap

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Strategic estate planning is key to ensuring flexibility in crises. Although you may not consider yourself at risk of exceeding the transfer balance cap following 1 July 2017, you may in fact be at risk, irrespective of your own superannuation account balance. One of the most important aspects to consider in light of the introduction […]

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