Estate planning & blended family essentials and insights


Tax-effective planning to minimise disputes between competing beneficiaries depends on knowing all the applicable tips, traps and practicalities.

Estate and succession planning involving blended families has its own particular challenges.  An individual often wishes for their second spouse to be looked after, but wants to ensure the children from the first relationship are not left out.

There are obviously difficult challenges when dealing with competing beneficiaries’ interests, so it pays to know the different options that are available to the individual to provide for their beneficiaries in the most tax-effective manner.

Case studies can go a long way when trying to understand a blended family’s ownership structure and the options available to them to “carve up the pie”. Tax advisers are encouraged to be proactive in their clients’ estate planning, particularly where there are competing beneficiaries’ interests in the blended family context.

Issues that need to be considered include:

  • Challenges and the particular demands of blended families, including competing beneficiaries’ claims to estate assets
  • Use of life interests for the second spouse and the taxation issues associated with life interests
  • An overview of family provision laws and what a second spouse may be able to claim against the estate
  • Minimising risks of disputes between the second spouse and the children from the first relationship
  • Tax-effective use of superannuation death benefits in a blended family context
  • Use of other tools including mutual wills and other binding financial agreements to protect assets for the children from the first marriage.

For all your clients’ needs regarding effective estate planning for their blended family, a workshop is planned to highlight the good, the bad and the ugly – what can go wrong if beneficiaries’ interests are not properly considered as well as the disastrous tax outcomes.

For instance, the second spouse could be left out altogether, which may lead to a family provision claim against the estate, or superannuation death benefits may not be paid out in the most tax-effective manner, which may have a significant impact on the beneficiaries’ interests altogether.

The workshop will encourage advisers to think outside the square in terms of risks and possible solutions which may then be legally implemented. It is planned for 30 May. For more details, click here.


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