Its Your Legacy You Should Decide Where it Goes

In Show 111 – Its Your Legacy You Should Decide Where it Goes originally broadcast on Facebook Live on Wednesday 18 July 2018 where we explore this interesting topic.

You can download a copy of the workbook for today here: 111 – Worksheet

Show Notes

Today on the podcast we turn the tables on co-host Craig Mason and interview him about his career and expertise on estate planning.  We’re focusing on retirement and estate planning all this month and there is no better person to talk about this than Craig.  He spends a large part of his work on helping people to get their affairs in order.

Estate planning is hugely important, especially for business owners.  What’s going to happen to your assets after your death?  Who is going to make decisions for you and your company if you become incapacitated?  Power of Attorney, insurance and superannuation are all things you want to deal with in your estate plan.

Running a business usually means acquiring assets as the company grows.  Just like your personal assets you need to take into account what will happen to your business assets in the event of your death.  If you want those assets to go to a specific person you will have to structure your estate carefully to make sure that happens.

There are major ramifications if you die without a will.  The person who decides what happens to your assets will be appointed by the court.  That process can take a lot of time and money and can often end in a fight amongst competing interests.  Instead, appointing an executor and a secondary executive will make this process run much smoother.  If you don’t do this the costs of administering your estate will more than double.

If you die without a will the fate of your estate will be dictated by Intestacy Rules.  These rules dictate how your estate will be distributed.  In Queensland the first $150 thousand of your estate will go to your spouse.  The rest will be distributed amongst any children, siblings or parents.  If you want that money to go to specific people you need to create a will.

Some of the considerations you need to think about when planning your estate include:

  • The size of the estate
  • The amount of any life insurance
  • Any estranged children?
  • Amount of your superfund and how it should be distributed
  • Power of attorney in the event of your incapacitation
  • Whether you want to create a testamentry trust

There are plenty of professionals that can help you through this process.  Your accountant will help you to ensure that you take care of all the proper tax implications.  Your financial planner will help you to design the right way to handle your superfund.  An insurance broker will make sure that all your insurance policies are in place and in order.  Finally, a lawyer can help to organize all those people to make sure everyone is on the same page.

After you get all these things in place it’s really important that you update this plan every two years or if your circumstances change.  If there have been deaths or births in the family you will need to update.  If you have excluded someone you should review that decision regularly to make sure that your still happy with that choice.  Finally, make sure you have spoken with your family about your estate plan so that everyone understands your wishes.

More about this Show

We started Business Legal Lifecycle to create a simple way for you to understand complex legal terms.  Most importantly we want to help you to develop a plan to take your business successfully into the future.  There’s a startling statistic the underscores the importance of developing a solid plan.  The majority of business owners are just seven months away from losing everything.  A single aspect of your business that is not set-up correctly can shut down your whole operation very quickly.   Legal advice is not cheap and even when you can afford it there is often a divide between lawyers and their clients.  We want to close that gap once and for all.  We want to put legal knowledge and tools into your hand to prevent the worst from happening to you.

Twice a week we are going to deliver those tools right to your home or office with Business Legal Lifecycle TV.  We’ll start the week with Fast Fix Monday, a short 5-10 minute video that will tackle a single issue that businesses have to deal with.  Then on Wednesday’s our main show will feature with more fulsome discussions and interviews all delivered in a straightforward and easy to understand format.