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Financial Happenings Blog
Wednesday, January 10 2007

I happen to work about two blocks from my house.  Therefore I often go home for lunch.

Today I happened to go home and the Dr Phil show was on television.  The tennis was also on channel 7, and I mainly watched that, honest, but I did watch some of the Dr Phil show.

The show was about estate planning, and arguments between family members over wills and estates.  It was a pretty disturbing orgy of greed, and really showed the downside of not having estate planning details worked out.

There is, of course, more to estate planning that just keeping those people who are left behind happy.  A lot of the organisation is about structuring the transfer of assets tax effectively.  As a very simple example let us consider a wife who passes away, leaving a $300,000 estate.  This estate will produce taxable income of about $18,000.  If this is left to her husband, and assuming he is earning $45,000, the $18,000 will be taxed at a rate of 30% - meaning $6,000 of tax will be paid each year.  If the estate was left in the form of a testamentary trust, where the proceeds could be distributed to their three young children and taxed at adult tax rates, there would have been no tax payable at all.  A saving of $6,000 each year!

Keep in mind that estate planning is not about you, it is about the beneficiaries of your estate.  They are the people in this world that you care about

See a professional, pay a one off fee, get your estate planning details prepared professionally and then update them when your circumstances change (you have kids, get married, get divorced, receive an inheritance, retire etc).

The tennis was good as well.  I can't remember who won..............

Posted by: Scott Francis AT 11:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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