Farm Succession Planning – The Documents

In this last article of our series, we’ll discuss various succession planning documents in more detail. Most people understand that a Will sets out the distribution of assets to beneficiaries and appoints executors. Superannuation is an asset not automatically covered by a Will, so Binding Death Benefit Nominations are important to ensure that superannuation is directed to the intended…

Farm succession planning – using trusts to protect their inheritance

Testamentary discretionary trusts are powerful tools, and can provide beneficiaries with a plethora of options to efficiently manage their inheritance. Asset protection Receiving an inheritance via a discretionary trust allows beneficiaries to manage their inheritance separately from their personal family wealth. This can assist beneficiaries who might be considered ‘at risk’ individuals, being people who…

Farm succession planning – who is to receive your wealth

The third and fourth of the four key estate and farm succession planning questions – who is to receive your wealth, and how should they receive it. Farming families often wish to leave their estates to their spouse, and then divide it equally amongst children when both parents have died. Challenges arise where one child…

Farm succession planning – what do I control?

The second of the four key questions – what do I control? Many farms own land and other assets in trusts for succession planning efficiency, asset protection, or tax minimisation purposes. In a trust structure, the trust owns assets which remain in the trust after death or retirement. Control of the trust usually equates to…

Farm succession planning: The first of the four key questions – what do I own?

The starting point for farm estate planning is to determine:- whether assets are owned solely or jointly, whether land is owned as joint tenants or tenants in common, and whether assets are controlled via trusts rather than owned. Sole or joint ownership? For most assets (shares, bank accounts, chattels – but not land), joint ownership usually…

What is the difference between Succession Planning and Estate Planning?

For many people, conversations about their Will and succession planning are easy to put off, but many problems (costly legal disputes and tax bills, to name just two) can be minimised with disciplined forward planning. Succession planning is the broad process of considering how your wealth will be transferred, either during your lifetime or after…

Estate planning for farms – avoiding disputes

In our third and final article in our series of information for farm businesses, we take a look at four common causes of estate disputes and suggest some strategies to avoid conflict. #1 – Undocumented and unfulfilled promises: ‘All this will be yours if you stay’ or ‘I’ll look after you later, but we can’t…