Estate planning is much more than the simple drafting of a will or adding a trust to an estate plan.
True estate planning is the process (it often takes time to fully implement the plan) by which a family’s assets are structured to achieve the financial goals of the broader family in as tax (income tax, estate duty and CGT) efficent a manner as possible.
The ultimate goal is achieve the right balance between:
- The effectiveness of the plan (i.e. the degree to which it achieves the goals of the family).
- Cost efficiency.
- Tax efficiency, and
- Flexibility (i.e. the ability to adapt the plan to changing circumstances).
We approach estate planning from a truly holstic perspective.
This requires us to fully understand the situation, needs and objectives of the family (i.e. the planner, the spouse, the larger family.)
This means getting a clear picture of:
- The family structure (e.g. where based, where and how support is to be given).
- The broader family’s financial plan, and the objectives of the estate plan.
- Existing fiduciary strucutres (e.g. trusts or companies), and what strucutres address the different needs.
- The assets making up the estate.
- The extent to which the current will and overall estate plan addresses the needs.
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