Do I need a Will? Having a Will is a basic and central component of estate planning. We can draft a range of Wills – from the very basic to the very complex.
Even if your affairs are quite simple, having a will in place can allow you to:
- Appoint a testamentary guardian for your children in case you die before they reach the age of 18
- Determine that your children should not receive all or part of their inheritance when they reach the age of 18, but at a a later age
- Determine who should receive your estate in the event that your spouse and children die at the same time or before you
- Take advantage of tax concessions so there is more in your estate for your beneficiaries
After hearing the benefits of a testamentary trust, many of our clients choose Wills which incorporate discretionary testamentary trusts.
Most of our “mum and dad” clients choose the testamentary trust because they want to be able to minimise tax by splitting income with those children.
They also know that, if there are taxable gains involved for a particular asset or assets, the use of a testamentary trust may reduce the Capital Gains Tax payable.
Other Will-drafting strategies may include –
- Some of our clients have kids who are under 18 years of age and therefore mum and dad want a separate trust set up just in case one or more of the kids has a greater need than the others (“children’s support trust”). This may simply be because some of the kids are younger, or to take into account a possible future disability (eg. a car accident).
- Sometimes Mum and Dad want to make sure that, if for example one of them died and the surviving spouse remarried, their assets pass to the kids rather than to the surviving spouse (“directed inheritance”). Similarly, in a “blended family” situation, Mr or Mrs may want the kids of a previous relationship to benefit rather than the current spouse/partner.
- If one of the children has an intellectual disability, then that child may not be able to look after him or herself. In such a case, a separate trust would usually be established to look after that child. Careful consideration would need to be given to the trustee(s) and the beneficiaries of that trust.
- Giving a person the use and benefit of an asset during their lifetime, and on that person’s death the asset passes to a different beneficiary (“Life Interests”).
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