Estate planning involves the development of strategies to define how your assets are to be managed and disbursed after you die.
There are many aspects and considerations which form part of a good estate plan, including:
- Asset Protection
- Taxation (or reducing taxation)
- Children (or the appointment of Guardians)
- Wills and minimising disputes or claims against your Wills
- Health (appointment of a Guardian to make health and lifestyle decisions when you are unable to)
However, one of the most important aspects of an estate plan is that it is kept up to date.
A sound estate plan should be regularly reviewed to avoid a range of unintended consequences such as the raft of changes made to superannuation last year, which came into effect from 1 July 2017. These changes particularly impacted higher net worth individuals and highlighted the importance of finding an effective wealth-building vehicle that will provide estate protection and estate planning opportunities.
Last year’s changes may not be the last given that the range of labour policies targeted at superannuation, each with the potential to impact your retirement and estate planning strategies. Labour’s policies include:
- Changes to the dividend imputation system, which have already received significant media attention;
- Lowering non-concessional contributions cap further, from $100,000 to $75,000
- Lowering the income threshold further from, $250,000 to $200,000, at which point 30% rather than 15% contribution tax is paid
While there is no timetable in place, and of course, an election has to occur first and legislation to be passed, it is reasonable to expect further change, whichever party is elected.
For more information, read our page on Wills and Estate Planning or contact our estate planning lawyers for a consultation.