Best practice for accountants and advisers building Wills on our law firm’s website
Welcome to Legal Consolidated’s Estate Planning Standard Policy. The Best Practice Policy is for Accountants, Licensees and Advisers.
There is an obligation by accountants and advisers to initiate, explain and support the needs of a client’s:
- Estate Planning
- Tax effective Wills
- Medical/Lifestyle Powers of Attorney, Guardianships and Appointing Medical Treatment Decision Maker
- Enduring Powers of Attorney
- Contractual Will Agreements – for second marriages
- Loans to Children – to escape the bankruptcy and family court
- Deed of Gift
- Forgive a Debt Agreement
- Changing control of a Family Trust at death
Advisers and accountants have a close ongoing relationship with their clients. A natural extension of this relationship is discussing estate planning. While a lawyer may see a client for a few hours, an adviser and accountant hold a special fiduciary relationship with their clients. They have unparalleled knowledge of the client’s family circumstances and overall affairs.
Often the client, even after many years of requests, still ‘can’t find the time’ to see a taxation lawyer to attend to their Estate Planning. Even then what can a lawyer learn in a few hours – versus the continual ongoing relationship with the accountant and financial planner?
The best solution is for the adviser and accountant to be the centre of the universe when it comes to Estate Planning. And build the Estate Planning documents on the law firm’s website. The law firm remains responsible for the Estate Planning documents.
You are building two documents:
- Estate Planning Standards Policy
This sets out the compliance issues for accountants and financial planners building Wills, POAs, Estate Planning and other documents on our law firm’s website.
The Policy includes requirements for Accreditation. It is designed for accountants, dealer groups and advisers seeking best practice when building Wills on our law firm’s website.
- Estate Planning Manual
The Manual contains a wealth of marketing information for you to use to market your Estate Planning services. Use the images and wording as you see fit.
Our law firm’s skill in Estate Planning
I am an Adjunct Professor lecturing both the Estate Planning and Superannuation units at a number of universities around Australia. I have done so since 1999.
Of my seven degrees, four of them are in law including my doctorate. My research was in Estate Planning and succession planning.
I author the two Australian leading textbooks on Estate Planning: CCH Australian Estate Planning and Thompson Reuters’ Australian Financial Planning Handbook.
Our ‘3-Generation Testamentary Trusts’ include:
- 3-Generation Testamentary Trusts – reduces CGT, Stamp duty and income tax for 80 years from the date of death
- Super Testamentary Trust – reduces the 17% and 32% tax on Superannuation going to adult children
- Bankruptcy Trusts – if a beneficiary is bankrupt
- Divorce Protection Trust – if a child separates
- Maintenance Trust – where beneficiaries under 18 years of age or unstable
Best Practice in building Estate Planning documents
Build these two documents. They provide you with best practice in building legal documents on our website.
You do the Estate Planing – or risk losing our client to another accounting house
An accountant’s client dies.
The client dies with only one asset. This is $100,000 in life insurance. It is in his Superannuation. The beneficiary children are over 18 years of age. So, there is a 32% non-dependency tax.
The children pay $32,000 in tax!
Why is there no Superannuation Testamentary Trust in the Will? This often reduces the non-dependency tax on the Super to zero.
I telephone the lawyer who prepared the Will to find out why. To protect him I call him Robert:
Robert, why didn’t you put a Superannuation Testamentary Trust in the Will?
I only practice in family law. There is tax on Super at death? I didn’t know that. Anyway, my cover letter says that I don’t do tax. In future, I will note that I also don’t give advice on Superannuation.
But Robert why didn’t you speak with the client’s accountant?
I didn’t see a need. After all, I am the lawyer, not them.
As the accountant and financial planner you are the centre of the universe. You get the team together. You are the project manager of the estate planning process.
Build the Estate Planning Quality Assurance Manual. The Manual authorises you to build Estate Planning documents on our website, throughout Australia, including the:
We look forward to helping you grow your Estate Planning practice.