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The Complete Guide To Estate Planning in Australia

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February 22, 2023

It can be entirely unfortunate psychologically to lose a close friend or family member. Logistics and administration duties might impose extra pressure on loved ones. A well-thought-out estate plan might bring peace of mind during this critical life event. It may also lessen the possibility of future disagreements between loved ones over money and finances.

To secure yourself and your loved ones, you must start organizing your estate. Whereas a will is an essential element, other assets are not under it. As a result, a checklist of estate planning in Australia to ensure you’re protected.

Estate planning assorts your assets and circumstances so that your beneficiaries obtain the most use and enjoyment from your purchases after your death at the least cost in taxes and suffering.

In other words, estate planning should be a successful and effective intergenerational wealth transfer strategy that meets your lifestyle and enjoyment goals while you are still living.

All You Need To Know About Estate Planning

People frequently confuse estate planning with making a will, but it is much more.
Estate planning is deciding – what you wish to do to your assets and affairs when you die.

It is essential to have a backup plan for who will take command of your operations if you fail eventually and cannot make informed decisions.
According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), over half of Australians have sent a valid will, and those who have a complete estate plan.

1. Everyone Should Plan their Estate

The first thing to know about estate planning is that it applies to everybody. “Estate planning” is a bit of a myth, according to Douglass. “It has a judgmental sound to it and indicates that you are wealthy. But the truth is that everyone must do it. An estate plan involves everything from deciding where you want your money to go to choosing a legal guardian for any young kids you have.

A will is the primary legal instrument by which you can name guardians for your minor children. You must be at least 18 years old and mentally competent in family estate planning. Many people consider writing a will, but other aspects of estate preparation are equally vital and beneficial.

2. Estate Preparation isn’t Just for the Afterlife

Another key aspect of estate planning is incapacity planning. A lot of people don’t consider what happens if I almost die. A living will allow you to state your wishes if you become disabled in some way, relieving your family members of the stress of making that decision.

3. Estate Planning is Essential for Generating Massive Wealth

The secret to generating massive wealth is to have a well-thought-out strategy for your finances when you die. Estate planning is extremely crucial for communities of color that face systematic barriers to earning wealth. You must prepare your estate so that you may properly convey what you wish to the next generation.

Charitable giving, education, and leaving money to someone in your community are all methods to pass on assets and create massive wealth.

4. Engage the Services of a Lawyer

Your will is certainly not one of the DIY projects you should attempt. Although lawyers are costly and wills may be created online, engaging an estate planning attorney will help guide you through the process mistakes in your estate plan could land you in superior court. It’s quite difficult to get out of court undamaged. The procedure is lengthy and public, and it may wind up costing you far more money in attorney costs than simply visiting one to create an estate plan.

5. Begin Early and keep your plan Updated

You may already be estate planning without realizing it. If you’ve ever had to fill out 401K paperwork at work, you’ll notice a beneficiary area. Ensure that the beneficiary designation on your 401k, life insurance, and pension documentation is up to date. Most young individuals list a parent and then fail to update it when they marry or have children.

What is Superannuation in Estate Planning?

When a Person dies, the benefit is distributed to beneficiaries or the Person’s legal personal representative. This can be completed in the manner of a Binding Death Benefit Nomination (BDBN).

When the trust deed is ambiguous or vague about who the heir will be. The Person’s advantage passes to the Person’s estate. The drawback of this system is can I start my planning on the estate so that third-party parties, such as former marriages, family members, or even creditors, may demand the estate. As a result, it is essential to specify who the beneficiaries are in the self-managed superannuation fund.

According to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations, only individuals can take benefits. The Trustees of the Fund control the SMSF. When creating a BDBN, trustees should maintain a few essential things in mind. Trustees must ensure that their selections are properly registered in the Fund’s Trust Deed or a subsequent BDBN.

Risk and Benefits in Estate Planning

Including the advantages of the estate, there are some factors that you need to take care of before you seal your deal.
There are a few things you can keep in mind before selling a deal:

  • Ensure that your wealth is passed on to the intended beneficiary, not someone else.
  • Make suitable deeds that can provide future needs to the beneficiaries.
  • Death taxes are the taxes taken by the government from the person who inherited deceased assets. Look for self-managed super fund tax return to minimize or avoid taxes.
  • Avoid potential risks involved to protect future beneficiaries’ inheritance in the event of divorce or bankruptcy.
  • Beneficiaries can go out of hand if not well protected, this can happen when beneficiaries are involved in gambling, addictions, or mental issues. Protect your estate to prevent these risks.

Estate Planning Checklist in Australia

Planning your estate is a must other than a will. While a Will is one factor, estate planning makes it more secure and liable for future generations. Go through this checklist to ensure you are covered.

  • Make a list of the physical assets that you are going to leave behind. They can be your cars, houses, land, or more.
  • For the next step, make a list of your nonphysical assets like superannuation, cryptocurrency, life insurance, and bank account.
  • Next, you should write down your remaining debt. And make sure that your assets would be enough to pay off the debt that you leave behind.
  • Check for another kind of investment that you made and didn’t pay because after you they will be cut off from your assets.
  • Make copies of your checklist so that you can attach them with a will, and some can be distributed to the executes.
  • Identify the beneficiaries to whom your assets would be passed down. In case of no known heirs, the court will pass the assets to the most eligible and first one in your family line.
  • Now that you have decided everything about your assets and who the beneficiary will be you can write down your will. No matter where you are, writing down will keep your generation safe after you.
  • In the process, forgetting your taxes can cause a problem. Talk to experts about taxes and whether you should open a trust or not. Trust can reduce taxation on your assets.
  • If you own a business, then never forget to make an heir after you. Otherwise, it may not be passed down to your kin.
  • You need to have a good professional executor who can take care of your estate well.
  • As the next step, it is essential to have a binding death benefit nomination for your superannuation. These are not your money. But are the fund that is managed by a trust holder? Holding a nomination will save you money from going to someone else.
  • Adding a nomination for life insurance is also necessary. Add nominees at the time of life insurance so that the beneficiary will get the profits.
  • A vital element of the estate is the power of attorney of the person. If you are no longer able to handle business, then providing power of attorney can lessen your responsibilities.
  • Along with the power of attorney, you should also get your health directive that will signify your wishes regarding your Medicare. You can hold down your health directive before you get into incapacitation.
  • After completing your will, keep it safe with you or your lawyer and provide copies to your executor. Keep your Will up to date.

How can I start my planning on the estate?

While you are planning for your future after you are not around anymore, the best way is to save your assets and turn them into liabilities for future generations.
Before thinking of planning an estate plan, you can go through these points below and then make your conclusion:

How can I start my planning on the estate

  • Firstly, start understanding your assets and how you can turn them into hefty amounts.
  • Consider the opinion of how your assets will help your generation when you will not be around. Will that be enough?
  • Give a better thought to who will be your legal owner after you. Choose a better person to whom your wealth will be passed down.
  • Select a better plan to pass down your wealth ratio to different family members. How much do you want them to get from your wealth?
  • If there are minors in your family, then choose a person who can take care of them very well.
  • As a last step, you can consider your decision with a professional like an estate planner.
  • Count the numbers of your assets and wealth. If it’s enough for the beneficiary or not.
  • How do you want your assets to be assigned in the long term?
  • Find a person who can take responsibility for your assets or someone whom you can solely trust.
  • Discuss your every decision with either your partner or family member.

What else should be evaluated while planning for any estate?

Planning your wealth only for a single estate won’t be enough. You also need to take care of assets that won’t be involved in a will. These assets will be taken care of by your beneficiary in the future.

  • Companies and Trusts

    These assets will not be included in your will. But they will need separate documentation. Ownership of these assets will be passed down to the person – as per your wish.

  • Joint Tenancy Assets

    Property owned by two or more people comes under joint tenancy assets. The ownership will get to your preferred owner. Passing this ownership will need various documentation, and for more knowledge, you can go to the Australian tax office(ATO).

  • Government Beneficiaries

    You want to look at how your inheritance will affect the beneficiary. In some cases, if the beneficiary is getting other government-based benefits, then they may not get the estate. So in that case, there are further ways to pass down your assets to the beneficiary.

  • Excluded Beneficiaries

    In your will, you can’t just ignore another person who is entitled to something in your family. You should consider everyone around you. You should look into the impact your will can have on them and make sure to include them in your will. Otherwise, they can claim for their part and may get a higher amount.
    For example, your estranged child or family member can claim benefits from your will.


Estate planning involves different people at every stage. Be careful of the people you choose to do your work. Starting from lawyers, consider someone who not just writes your wishes on paper but understands what you want to achieve with your will. Your tax accountant will help you understand the assets records and tax implications on your money.
An estate planning guide can enable you to divide your assets into life insurance and superannuation or make better investments.

There are many risks and benefits involved in the process when you plan your estate. Expert estate planners in perth can help you gain the best benefits from your deals.
You can also follow this estate planning guide in Australia to help you understand the process.

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