Estate Planning for High Net Worth Individuals

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Estate planning for high net worth individuals

High net worth individuals have more complex estate planning needs and requirements than the average Australian business owner or investor. Determining how to carefully transition wealth from one generation to the next is challenging for most families. But for high net worth individuals it requires extra care and attention to ensure:

  • the transfer of wealth is achieved in a structured and measured way;
  • assets are protected from risks arising within and outside the family; and
  • the plan is developed and executed with specific goals and aspirations in mind.

To achieve this, at Collins Mann we take the extra time needed to know you and your family dynamics, the size and structure of your estate, and your particular personal objectives.

Transferring wealth in a structured and measured way

We often meet with new clients that have developed or inherited a mess of structures and ideas about how their estates should be organised for tax and other purposes.

Rarely do we see high net worth individual clients put their estate planning priorities at the centre of all their business, investment and personal decision-making strategies.

Effective estate planning requires clients to integrate their bigger life goals and strategies into the decisions they make on a day to day basis.

Organising their personal estate, private businesses, companies and trusts in a way to ensure that wealth accumulates and passes in a structured and measured way to successors and loved ones is essential to estate planning success.

Many high net worth individuals need estate planning help to determine how and when wealth is to pass to the next generation.  It usually should not pass all in one go, but in a staged and prudent manner during which:

  • children are given the opportunity to ‘learn the ropes’ before taking on financial responsibilities within the family enterprise;
  • children are not able to access significant wealth or control of key assets until they are sufficiently mature and ready to do so;
  • wealth is protected from relationship risks, business risks and other uncertainties that children often encounter in early adulthood.

This requires putting in place a detailed plan for the manner in which assets are inherited (both during one’s lifetime and upon death or incapacity), supported by legal structures containing the machinery to execute the plan as and when particular life events occur.

Protecting assets from risks arising within and outside the family

The number one concern that parents raise with us about family estate planning is the uncertainty and danger of their children getting involved with relationship partners during their 20s and 30s.

Moving in together, buying property together and having children together can put all of your hard-earned wealth, intended for their ultimate inheritance, at risk of loss to frivolous relationship mistakes.

We spend a lot of time with our clients discussing how future partners are introduced to the family and how to protect existing estates from their claims, keeping wealth in the bloodline as you intend.

We also consider creditor and bankruptcy risks, as children who ‘come of age’ undergo their first foray into the world of significant financial decision-making. There are too many business sharks who will manoeuvre to get their hands on their fortune and yours.

Putting in place robust asset protection strategies to quarantine their inheritance from creditor risks is also an essential part of effective estate planning for high net worth individuals.

Our job is to align the arrangements of your goals and aspirations and to empower you to achieve them in the most efficient and rewarding way possible.

Achieving your goals and aspirations and leaving a legacy

There is one saying that we love at Collins Mann which guides our estate planning advice for all high net worth individuals:

“Begin with the end in mind!”

Habit No 2, Franklin Covey

For most high net worth individuals, their goals are more sophisticated and nuanced than paying off the mortgage and clearing the debts. They have moved past this and now have specific goals and aspirations and the means to achieve them.

Whilst high net worth individuals may already have lofty ideas and powerful financial positioning, they require specialised professional services to help them get past the detail and discern the best path to realising their objectives.

That’s where we come in. Our job is to align the arrangements (complex as they may be) to those goals and aspirations and to empower our clients to achieve them in the most efficient and rewarding way possible.

“There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honour your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.”

Oprah Winfrey, success.com

High net worth individuals have achieved financial success and we understand that estate planning to them is no longer just about expanding portfolios or securing the family’s future. It’s also (more so!) about making a statement to the world, leaving a legacy and being a life that matters for everyone who succeeds them.

Moving forward

Often high net worth individuals come to us seeking financial advice and having a plethora of ideas to sort and organise and needing help to discern their own particular path to success in life.

To find out how we can help to leave a legacy for your children and loved ones, contact one of our expert financial advisors today.

Financial Services

Our services include:

  • Values-based financial planning.
  • Wealth accumulation strategies.
  • Tax-effective strategies.
  • Risk management.
  • Retirement planning.
  • Estate planning.
  • Divorce financial settlement analysis.

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