Things To Consider When Reviewing Your Estate & Succession Plan

Things to Consider When Reviewing Your Estate and Succession Plan

Things To Consider When Reviewing Your Estate & Succession Plan


As unpleasant as a task as it is, drawing up and consistently reviewing your Estate & Succession Plan is a necessity to ensure that the assets you have worked your entire life to accumulate are passed on to the right people. 


Drafting an effective Estate & Succession plan is not a simple task, with many traps for the unwary.  However, there are a number of broad issues that can be a helpful starting point in preparing your Estate & Succession plan.


Failing to consider these issues may result in you not achieving your goals.  These issues may include:


  • Who will administer your Estate – you should consider whether a single Executor or multiple Executors acting jointly is appropriate;
  • If you become incapacitated, who will control your financial affairs;
  • Would it be appropriate to establish a “Family Board” structure, especially where your financial affairs are complicated and the family should be made aware of the group operations;
  • Would independent directors / executors be appropriate;  
  • Taxation - how will any payments be taxed to beneficiaries, particularly minors and benefits arising from superannuation funds;
  • Corporations Law - does the constitution of any companies allow for the appointment of a Director particularly where the company currently has a sole director;
  • Trust Law - who will be appointed as the Appointor of Discretionary Trusts and is the trust deed flexible enough to allow distributions as required; and
  • Commercial issues including will you have sufficient assets to allow you to make the bequests contemplated under your Will, and how will you fund particular payments?   


The above is a snapshot of the matters that should be considered in preparing your Estate and Succession Plan.  There are many other complexities and intricacies in preparing these documents and getting them right can be the difference between having a smooth administration process or drawn out legal challenges from those people who feel that have not been properly looked after. 


You Estate and Succession plan is ever evolving and should not be considered a “set and forget” document.  Things change, families grow and shrink, assets are bought and sold.  These events will all have an impact on how your Estate & Succession plan is drafted.    


ESV works closely with our alliance partner law firms or our clients’ own legal advisors to develop a bespoke plan, with the best solutions and outcomes to meet our clients’ needs.  In our experience the peace of mind that a well thought out succession strategy brings to our clients is well worth the difficult discussions and processes required upfront. 


Should you have any questions in relation to this matter, please contact us or speak to your ESV engagement partner on 02 9283 1666.


Article by Emmanuel Camilleri