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Estate Planning

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SMSFs the new battleground in family disputes

With the best will in the world, family disputes often occur on the death of a family member. SMSFs often hold substantial assets, and the role of trustees and death benefit nominations is tricky.  

Six common estate planning errors

Even if you are in a wonderful relationship now, you should not assume you will never be in a blended family. We all need to plan accordingly by avoiding common mistakes in wealth planning.

All’s fair in love and super: why couples should equalise super

Changes implemented by super reforms since 1 July 2017 have brought greater incentives for spouses to equalise their superannuation balances, including tax and estate planning benefits.

Most estate planning for tax is inadequate

Many people are reluctant to plan financially for their death, and it's not simply a matter of passing money to heirs. Far more tax-effective techniques are available which can make inheritance simpler.

The Thorny Birds of McCullough's estate

The final act in the Colleen McCullough drama was a messy court case pitting her former husband against a Foundation, and featured unreliable witnesses the court did not trust.

Talk to your family about ageing and your will

Retirees should discuss goals and plans with their adult children, including wills, finances, consequences of incapacitation and current plans. Includes a suggested 'Goals and Plans' document to kick off the conversation.

Record award in estate of John Hemmes

The success of this claim on John Hemmes' estate and the unexpected amount involved provides a reminder to ensure you have a robust estate plan in place.

Five things SMSF trustees should consider right now

The implications of the superannuation reforms did not end in 2017, and SMSF trustees should stocktake what they can do, especially focussing on the CGT and the unique definition of retirement for super.

SMSFs and the control over estate planning

An SMSF’s governing documents, including the trust deed, should specify trustee structure in the event of the death of a member, to ensure that the deceased’s estate plan is realised.

Limits to a will’s power over an SMSF

Unlike the rest of a person's estate assets, a will has no power over the decisions of trustees of a superannuation fund when it comes to the payment of a death benefit.

Check pension outcomes when making a will

Where both husband and wife are elderly and receiving an age pension, the structure of the will can significantly improve the pension and personal outcomes on the death of either person.

Understand the retirement income challenge

It’s often assumed one of the primary aims of wealth accumulation is to leave money for the kids, but retirees realise their own longevity means they need to look after their retirement first.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Have the rules of retirement investing changed?

In retirement, we still want to reduce stock volatility while generating cash flows. The two needs have not changed, but the reward expected in the old days from interest payments has gone. What should we do?

18 Aussie names for your watchlist

A Morningstar stock screener reveals a cross-section of companies with competitive advantages that are trading at material discounts to estimated value. This is a list of 18 highly-rated names worth watching.

Buffett and his warning about 'virtually certain' earnings

While many investors are happy to invest in any online companies, Warren Buffett focusses more on the quality of future growth, buying companies whose earnings are 'virtually certain' in 10 or 20 years from now.

Hamish Douglass on what really matters

Questions on the stock market/economy disconnect, how to focus long term, technology's growing role, income in a low-rate world, Modern Monetary Theory and endless debt and the tooth fairy.

Kate Howitt: investing lessons and avoiding the PIPO trade

Kate Howitt identifies the stocks she likes and the disappointments, gives context to the increasing role of retail investors, and explains why the market is more of a 'voting not weighing' machine than ever before.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 379

It is trite and obvious to say the future is uncertain, and while COVID-19 brings extra risks, markets are always unpredictable. However, investing conditions are now more difficult than ever, mainly because the defensive options for portfolios produce little income. We explore whether investing rules have changed with new input from Howard Marks.

  • 15 October 2020

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