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Estate Planning

Estate Planning – Do You Fit The Picture?

  • After many years of hard work, you’ve built a successful and valuable business.  In addition to investing in your business, you’ve also accumulated a portfolio of properties and other investments.  Your investments are owned in your own name, via your family trust and in your Self Managed Superannuation Fund.  You’ve never had the time to make sure that your estate plan adequately deals with who will control these assets on your passing
  • Your children have grown up and left home.  You’ve given them a start in life by buying them a car or helping them out with a deposit on a house.  They are beneficiaries of your family trust.  You’re worried that the family’s assets may be exposed should your child’s current domestic relationship break up.  How do you protect the assets?
  • Your son is mixing with the wrong crowd and has fallen prey to drugs.  How do you provide for him upon your death without giving him immediate control of a lump sum payment?
  • You’ve been married before and want to provide for your ‘blended family’.  How do you do this in a way that is fair to all involved and that will reduce the risk of family disputes and costly litigation?
  • You want to leave a portion of your estate to charity.  How do you do this in the most tax effective manner?

There are many issues that need to be addressed as part of any estate planning process.  While your Will may ultimately be a simple and brief document, the process and details that need to be signed off along the way may not be simple.  The  investment made in getting good estate planning advice now can pay off tenfold later.

Black Pearl Private Clients are experts at partnering with you and other professionals to design, document and implement an estate plan that achieves your goals and protects your wealth.

Black Pearl Private Clients’ estate planning expertise is available to private business owners as well as other individuals and families with complex estate planning requirements, such as senior executives and professionals.

Estate Planning – It’s More Than A Will

Estate planning is a process designed to help protect the wealth you have built over your lifetime so that it is protected during your life and, ultimately, distributed according to your wishes upon your death.  A well designed estate plan can also assist you in passing on your values, beliefs and community responsibilities to family members.

Estate planning involves much more than just preparing a Will.   It is  an all encompassing process that  ensures that you, your family and your successors can appropriately respond to all of the possible events that occur throughout a persons life – this includes the consequences that arise due to family breakups, diminished capacity, disability or death.

A good estate plan should include a thorough assessment of the all of the following:

  • What are my assets (and liabilities) and where are they located?
  • To whom do I owe an obligation to provide?
  • Which assets fall inside the scope of my Will and which assets cannot be dealt with in my Will?
  • Are there any ‘risk factors’ or special needs that should be dealt with (e.g. family breakdown, drug dependency, gambling, children with special needs, etc)?
  • Do I have any philanthropic goals that I’d like to achieve?
  • What happens if I lose capacity through dementia or some other medical ailment?
  • What about my business interests?  Do I need a shareholders agreement and/or a buy-sell agreement?

Black Pearl Private Clients are experts at navigating you through these important issues

The Document Library

There is a multitude of documents that may be required in order to fully document your estate plan.  These include:

  • Will
  • Powers of Attorney (Financial and Medical)
  • Appointment of Guardianship
  • Letter of Wishes
  • Affadavits
  • Domestic Relationship Agreements / Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements
  • Trust Deeds
  • Shareholders Agreements
  • Buy-Sell Agreements

Not all documents will be required in all circumstances.  The complexity of your affairs will dictate which documents are required.  In any event, by working with an estate planning specialist such as Black Pearl Private Clients, the process will be project managed for you so that it is achievable and as pain free as possible.

Who Needs An Estate Plan

Chances are, you do!

  • Estate plans are not just for the wealthy.
  • Without an estate plan, you can’t control what happens to your property when you die or if you become incapacitated.
  • An estate plan makes your wishes clear and helps avoid family disputes.
  • Proper estate planning can preserve assets and provide for loved ones.
  • Estate planning allows you to pass on your values as well as your wealth.

An Estate Plan Is Especially Needed If The Following Apply

  • Your spouse is uncomfortable with financial matters.
  • You have minor children or dependents with special needs.
  • You own assets in more than one Australian State or overseas.
  • You own assets outside your own name, such as through a company, trust or Self Managed Superannuation Fund.
  • Financial privacy is important to you.
  • You own a business or have an interest in a business.
  • You have beneficiaries who are ‘at risk’ to claims from creditors or bankruptcy.
  • You have beneficiaries who are unable to make financial decisions due to a disability or addiction.