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Are inheritances outdated?

Published 13 December 2022

Are inheritances outdated?

Once upon a time we used to have to wait until a wealthy relative passed away before we received an inheritance.

What many people don’t understand is there is more than one way to transition wealth to the next generations which help them financially thrive over the course of their lifetime.

Here are some out-of-the-box ways to pass your assets to family and friends before you die.

Creating a family trust with regular distributions

Creating a family trust with regular distributions is one way of ensuring your loved ones are set up for financial success.

A family trust has a lot more flexibility than super and is worth considering for larger sums of $1 million-plus.

It’s imperative you get the structure of your family trust right upfront as any adjustments can incur fees and tax charges.

Using your assets to help now

There are three key ways you can help your family get into the ever-challenging property market:

  • Deposit gift: You can gift funds to cover a property deposit and have the recipient responsible for the rest of the loan. It’s important to specify the home you purchase is owned by your child.
  • Buying for a minor: It is possible to purchase a home for a minor (under 18 years of age). You become their legal representative and are responsible for the management of the property.
  • Using a trust: Using a trust to buy a property means you will be the trustee of the trust and when the time is deemed right you can pass control of the trust to your chosen family member.

Creating a personal succession plan

Creating a personal succession plan ensures the right assets will be distributed to the right people while you’re still alive. Having a personal succession plan also ensures your loved ones have access to funds which help ensure their financial prosperity for years to come.

The main benefits of a personal succession plan include:

  • Make sure the right assets go to the right people and at the right time
  • Allows your loved ones to inherit money while minimising the amount of tax they have to pay.

Gifting shares is another way to ensure your family is looked after financially. According to the Australian Tax Office (ATO), when gifting shares you need to factor in Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and any gains or losses need to be factored into your tax return lodgement. The ATO also recommends you “treat the shares as if you disposed of them at their market value on the day you gave this gift”. Beyond shares, other items you can give as gifts during your lifetime include art, furniture and antiques.

When it comes to passing assets on to your heirs to set them up for success, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. For more information and tips on how to set yourself up for financial success, book a free consultation with Fiducian Financial Services.