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11Estate planning

Estate planning and documenting your future.

Estate planning for the living!

Many of us go through life not thinking about the end.

Many often think do I need a will? Many don’t bother! We start life naked with nothing and we end up leaving an imprint on this earth that others must follow.

Telling others how you want what you have accumulated in life is important

Wills establish wishes after death and are essential for estate planning

The chances are that you may have wishes about who gets the large loot of assets and possessions. These assets you have accumulated in your lifetime. Or you may have a young family and provision needs to be made to provide for their welfare and education.

No matter what your situation is you need a plan! A plan to look after your loved ones.

Start planning now for your estate wishes.

Leaving this earth without instructions to your executor can mean that you will leave headaches for others. Do I need a will? YES  Take time as to what instructions you would leave for things such as :

  • Your business – what is your desire and are others capable of taking it over? 
  • Your car 
  • Your children and wife from the first or second marriage
  • If you die with young kids who will look after them?
  • How will you deal with your superannuation?
  • Who gets what?
  • Is their tax and capital gains tax to be addressed?
  • Any favourite charities that are important to you
  • Have you documented your life achievements?
  • Passwords for eBay, Facebook and Instagram?

Leaving a will allows those you love can be financially rewarded or cared for. A Will that has been created well will address issues of taxation and division of property.

No will – dont leave a problem to someone else

Not leaving a Will can result in an executor being appointed that must follow the standard formula for those without a will.  When a person dies without leaving a valid will, their property, etc. must be distributed according to certain rules called the rules of intestacy. A person who dies without leaving a will is classified as an intestate person. You may need to apply for probate and if this is the case seek legal advice.

Many of our clients have businesses. If not dealt with a mess can be left and on some occasions, any value in the business is wittered away due to inaction after death.

Many fights start due to greed and expectations. Many of us will accumulate wealth during our lifetime but it is your wish as to how it will be distributed. We encourage clients to tell others so it should not be something of a complete surprise. Eliminate those self-focused beneficiaries who think that they have a sense of entitlement by controlling the conversation about why you are living.

It can pay to start dealing out assets early before death and enjoy the process. Some assets such as the property will have tax and stamp duty implications for you if sold early or transferred not under will. You can and you may enjoy giving cash away (as long as you are on no Government Benefits) and slowly depleting the estate. 

If you have lent others money, make sure it’s documented so your estate can recover if necessary or even out the distribution amongst family if needed. Finally, there are those who hide money in the walls and the garden. Make sure you let someone know what to look for. 

Make a confidential appointment if you wish to explore some of our discussion points. Best wishes Geoff

11when i die

What happens to my business when I die

Who takes over my business when I die as a sole trader?

If you were running as a sole trader and you die then in most cases your legal personal representative will step in and manage your business. They will be in a position to assess if the business needs to be either wound up, sold or transferred to a beneficiary.

Your business asset forms part of the assets of the estate.

For many clients, they are unsure of the process.

There is a number of matters that should be dealt with in a timely matter when it comes to a sole trader business.

What happens after I die ? The process of winding up my affairs

The process that can take place after death include

  • The business continuation as a going concern ! – The longer the business is left un-managed the greater chance that the business value may disappear
  • Until probate takes place its best to ensure if a beneficary is to inherit the business that this takes place as soon as practical or allow the beneficiary to act as caretaker mode
  • Reassure customers and suppliers of the situation and ensure where possible that the business remains of value and assets are protected from going missing

The business forms part of the estate and impacts the final distribution to beneficiaries. Often upon the death of a sole trader, there may be outstanding debts to the ATO, suppliers and financiers. If there are insufficient assets upon realisation to pay the debts then the estate is placed in bankruptcy.

Careful planning required

We suggest careful planning of your affairs. Planning will ensure that when it comes to your business your wishes and adhered to and that a plan in cases of death has been considered to assist the executor to manage the sale of the business. It is why for many reasons Life Insurance is recommended. Insurance will ensure that insurance proceeds can cover some of these unexpected business expenses.

As a final tip is to make sure all registrations such as GST, ABN, social media accounts and WorkCover have been cancelled. This will avoid recurring notices. We can assist you here!

Suggest that you contact us and discuss a plan so that we can guide you on how you would like to finalise your affairs after the man upstairs has called you for higher duties.


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