This is the third article in our series detailing steps you can take to reduce (or perhaps entirely prevent) a challenge being made to your estate.

As we have previously discussed, any estate plan involves understanding the important distinction between “estate” and “non-estate” assets.

Central to this is understanding that a person’s Will only controls assets held solely in their name at the date they pass away.

Given the proliferation of asset holding strategies (companies, self-managed superannuation funds, discretionary family trusts etc) sometimes the only assets controlled by a person’s Will
might end up being the surfboard and fishing rod.

Before any substantial assets are acquired, careful consideration needs to be given as to how you might want that asset dealt with on your death.

Do you want it held in your own name or another structure?

By not owning the asset in your own name, the size of your estate “pie” can be reduced. This can be important if there are any challenges anticipated from disgruntled family members.

There are often a number of competing issues regarding the ownership of assets and they can range from asset protection and tax to estate planning.

It can be costly to “unwind” structures, so it is important to deal with the “now” but also keep one eye on the horizon…