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  • Writer's pictureUHY Haines Norton

Death and Taxes - Is Your Estate In Order? - Joe Smith

We recently attended the annual UHY tax conference in Melbourne which, as always, was a great experience. One of the case studies that we worked on was a real-life estate planning situation being dealt with by one of the other offices in the UHY Haines Norton Group.

The issues in the case study really hit home how important it is to have an estate plan in place as the two things that are certain in life are death and taxes! And quite a number of individuals and business owners that we speak to do not even have a will in place as a minimum. So estate planning is even further from their mind.

One thing that it is very important to be aware of is that even if you state in your will that you would like your superannuation amounts left to a specific individual, the trustee of the superannuation does not necessarily need to follow this instruction. Whether you have a self-managed super fund or an industry fund, a valid Binding Death Benefit Nomination should be prepared and renewed every three years to ensure your superannuation benefits go to your intended recipient.

The other thing to keep in mind is that there may be tax deducted from the superannuation death benefit if the amount is paid to an individual who is not a ‘dependant’. There may also be tax implications if you are leaving property, shares or other investments in your estate. One additional complication to be aware of is if you have been in more than one de-facto relationship or if you have a blended family then the risk of claims being made against your estate increases significantly.

While most people do not like to think about dying, the feedback that we hear from people who carry out estate planning is that it provides a great deal of comfort to know that their loved ones will be looked after and will receive what is intended for them in the most tax efficient manner.

If you would like a no obligation chat with us your estate planning, please call or email us at UHY Haines Norton on 4972 1300 or email

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