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Advisers get estate planning support tool

A leading superannuation law firm has released a support tool to assist advisers adapt their estate planning strategies to the legislative changes contained in the recently passed Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Bill 2016.

The tool, from Townsends Business and Corporate Lawyers, is being provided in the form of a checklist of relevant estate planning issues as part of the firm’s EPAdvantage offering.

The New Super Laws Checklist is structured to allow clients to easily access the information that is applicable to their clients’ set of circumstances, with presentation in four brackets. Specifically, this format will permit advisers to understand the different estate planning needs for individuals in accumulation phase and those who are transitioning to retirement.

In particular, the support material provides a side-by-side comparison of what constitutes a poorly designed estate plan and what constitutes a well-designed one.

Issues covered off include whether an estate plan consists only of a will, deeming it poor, or whether it includes the consideration and preparation of a will, superannuation death benefit nomination, memorandum of wishes, appointment of an enduring guardian, enduring power of attorney and a living will, all rendering it a well-designed estate plan.

Also highlighted as an example of a poor estate plan is the failure to ensure the control of trusts and SMSFs passes to the correct beneficiaries.

Again, this is contrasted with the characteristics of a well-designed estate plan that ensures the control of trusts and SMSFs passes to the correct beneficiaries through careful arrangements relating to directorships of corporate trustees, distribution of shares in corporate trustees and replacement of appointors.

“Good estate planning can only come through a clear process for gathering relevant data, asking the right questions and building the best outcome for a family to plan for the future,” the legal firm said.

Townsends is charging advisers $440 for access to the support tool.

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