More often considered in a wider sense as Estate Planning but equally as often overlooked or misunderstood.
Whilst Death Duty or Death Tax was abolished in Australia in 1979 it does not mean that substantial unintended tax liabilities cannot still arise on the passing of an individual. Most of these can be avoided or significantly reduced with some careful planning and co-ordination between LBW and your estate planning lawyer.
In some instances the difference between tax or no tax being applied to a transfer of assets under the Will can pivot on a simple factor such as beneficiary selection.
Other things to consider are whether capital losses should be accessed under a structured plan as these are no good to a dead person or their beneficiaries.
In more complex cases we can provide guidance on post death structuring of estates for tax planning purposes. Structures such as testamentary or special disability trusts can be very effective in protecting and also preserving assets for the next generation.
One thing that is certain unfortunately, is that we will all need to consider this as some point in time. Another sobering thought is that it is never too soon to attend to your estate planning as dying without a Will can be very problematic and traumatic for those left behind.
Of course LBW does not prepare Estate documents and we always consider these should be done by a suitably qualified lawyer. We will work with your lawyer to ensure all tax matters are adequately considered. If you do not have a preferred lawyer for this purpose we can provide you with a list of practitioners we trust for you to select from.
If you would like to know more about pre death tax planning please call Simon Flowers or your LBW principal to arrange an appointment with our tax team.