Avoiding Will Disputes

Estate Succession Planning To Avoid Will Disputes

Estate succession planning can be a wise investment in the future harmony and stability of your family.

Succession planning aims to preserve the value of your wealth, and create certainty for the benefit of your loved ones when you’re no longer around.

It helps you avoid adverse consequences for your loved ones in case you suddenly pass away. 

WillClaim can assist you with estate succession planning.

Our advice may consider tax implications arising from estate management after your death, protecting your beneficiaries’ inheritance, and protecting against elder abuse.

Without succession planning in place your estate can be exposed to the following risks: 

  • Unnecessary taxes (land tax, capital gains tax, or income tax) that could significantly reduce the value of your estate
  • Asset loss to the next generation caused by their personal bankruptcy or breakdown of their domestic relationship
  • Asset loss during your lifetime where someone else has control of your assets through a power of attorney

Testamentary Trusts in NSW

WillClaim can help you create your testamentary trusts to achieve tax savings on distributions after you pass away. This trust is created pursuant to your Will so your beneficiaries can save significant amounts of tax. It also helps protect your assets from loss through divorce, separation or financial distress.

We ask our clients to consider the benefits of establishing a testamentary trust if they want to:

  • Safeguard their estate from the creditors of their beneficiaries (usually from the bankruptcy trustee);
  • Safeguard their estate if a beneficiary is facing the financial consequences of a relationship breakdown;
  • Benefit from tax advantages in NSW
  • Provide mechanisms for the management of their estate after their death.

In NSW, the following Testamentary Trusts are often created:

  • Beneficiary Controlled Testamentary Trust
  • Capital Protected Testamentary Trust
  • Special Disability Trust
  • Protective Trust

Avoid Will Disputes With Estate Succession Planning

Professional estate Planning can help your family avoid Will disputes. You can better understand the risks of inaction by considering the most common causes of disputes, and the legal remedies available to aggrieved parties:

Mismatched Expectations and Outcome

Problems may arise where an eligible beneficiary is promised a specific asset or portion of an estate, but that promise is not reflected in the Will.

Managing the expectations of your family and loved ones is a good strategy. We encourage families to hold regular discussions and consider having a trusted adviser who will serve as moderator to help keep the discussion civil and productive.

Another solution is to facilitate the transfer of the assets to your intended beneficiary while you still live, either directly or through a trust. This can reduce the risk of estate litigation.

Through succession planning, you can explore the capital gains tax and stamp duty consequences of proposed gifts to your beneficiaries.

You may wish to transfer assets into appropriate structures in your lifetime, allowing you to pass control to your loved ones at an appropriate time.

Unfulfilled and undocumented promises

“I’ll take care of you if you stay in the family business”, or “I promise to give you this property once I pass away.”

if you have made any promises to family members or loved ones it is important to ensure that these are reflected in your Will. Otherwise, beneficiaries who believe that they are unfairly left out of the Will can lodge a claim.

Lack of details in estate Planning

Even a simple Will that divides your assets evenly between your beneficiaries can cause problems when you pass away.

‘Equal’ is not always ‘fair’.

It is important to consider your moral and legal obligations to your loved ones and to ensure that your Will adequately provides for their individual needs.

Our team at WillClaim will ensure that your succession plan is appropriately comprehensive.

Outdated estate Plans

Older Wills may not reflect the current circumstances and needs of your loved ones.

Changes in the nature and size of your estate may also necessitate a review of your Will.

Ideally, you should review your estate Plan regularly, even though you may only change your Will as needed.

Call WillClaim if you need more information on creating Testamentary Trusts in NSW.