The legal components of succession planning are only part of your broader succession planning strategy. A well thought-out plan should include legal documents that are coordinated with your retirement, investment and wealth accumulation strategies.
Succession planning encompasses different professional disciplines and involves consideration of asset protection, risk management (insurance and asset protection), taxation, investment planning, retirement planning and the use of legal structures all designed and co-ordinated to meet your needs.
At Slater & Gordon our lawyers will develop an integrated succession plan for you by working cooperatively with your accountant, financial planner and insurance adviser. If you do not have professional advisers to assist with these issues, we can introduce you to the right people with the expertise to guide you through it.
Components of a well-balanced succession plan
Consider each of the following to determine if they are relevant to you – either now or in the future.
A well-balanced plan may include:
1. A Will
2. An enduring Power of Attorney (to manage financial and legal matters)
3. Appointment of a Power of Guardianship (to manage health welfare matters)
4. Advanced Heath Care Directive (to direct what medical treatment you do or don’t want)
5. The integration of company, trust and superannuation structures
6. The future realisation of your investment in a business – an exit strategy
7. Flexibility to accommodate changed laws or changed circumstances that may exist at the time you die
8. A tax-efficient structure addressing the income tax, Capital Gains Tax, GST and stamp duty implications of transferring assets and/or managing assets upon death, retirement or any other event
9. The consideration of a range of critical events, apart from death. These include:
- mental incapacity – yours or a beneficiary’s
- physical incapacity – yours or a beneficiary’s
- bankruptcy or business failure – yours or a beneficiary’s
- divorce – yours or a beneficiary’s
- retirement, or
- the potential for disputes between beneficiaries over the Will
10. Financial Agreements (pre-nups) – when entering a new relationship to regulate ownership of assets
11. Testamentary trusts: these trusts are created by your Will and come into existence after you pass away. They enable maximum flexibility so that a beneficiary may enjoy the full benefit of a gift from your estate whilst enjoying the asset protection and taxation benefits provided by a testamentary trust
12. The use and integration of insurance as an asset in your plan, whether as part of a business succession scheme to cover debt or income, or simply to bolster the wealth of a future estate
13. Incorporation of a retirement plan as well as investment and wealth accumulation strategies.
Talk to those who can help
If you would like more information about how Slater & Gordon can assist with your succession planning needs, contact Slater & Gordon by calling 1800 555 777