It is important to have appropriate estate planning documentation in place to ensure that your estate planning objectives are achieved when you pass away or lose capacity to take care of yourself. These are common Estate Planning Mistakes that our clients make…

  1. Thinking that testamentary trusts are only for complex situations or high net wealth individuals
  2. Overlooking the advantages of utilising a testamentary trust on the death of the first spouse
  3. Forgetting to develop a suitable strategy for the family home
  4. Nominating a sole trustee of a testamentary trust to manage the trust for minor beneficiaries where that sole trustee is also a beneficiary
  5. Assuming the will can gift assets held in trusts and companies
  6. Including in-laws as guardians of minor children to act jointly with blood relatives
  7. Not giving sufficient consideration to whether multiple beneficiaries should share their inheritance through a joint testamentary trust or in a separate testamentary trust each
  8. Failing to nominate sufficient successors or ‘back ups’ to key roles such as executors, trustees, attorneys and guardians of minor children
  9. Forgetting about powers of attorney
  10. Defaulting binding death benefit nominations to the surviving spouse without considering the superannuation strategy.
  11. Forgetting to complete comprehensive instructions for the financial controllers in relation to accessing financial assets, including cryptocurrencies
  12. Failing to take steps to restructure assets to minimise the challengeable pool of assets where there are family provision application risks
  13. Triggering a tax bill on assets left directly to beneficiaries who live overseas instead of leaving those assets via a testamentary trust
  14. Forgetting to provide where assets should pass in the event of a family calamity
  15. Overlooking external documents which could impact on the will e.g. family law financial agreements, call options, shareholders agreements, partnership agreements or insurance funded buy sell deeds
  16. Waiting to complete a comprehensive estate plan until after marriage or a divorce is finalised
  17. Failing to equalise outstanding loan accounts between children
  18. Not contemplating the power of special disability trusts for beneficiaries who receive a Centrelink disability pension
  19. Ignoring assets held overseas
  20. Assuming the estate plan can be “set and forget” and failing to review it annually to ensure it remains appropriate following to changes in circumstances

Download the list HERE: Common Estate Planning Mistakes

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