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Estate Planning

Getting the right funds, to the right people, at the right time.

So you want to move your business revenue away from a reliance on commissions to fee-for-service and you see estate planning, (with business succession planning a sub-set of the estate planning discipline - see our SME Client Advice section), as the way forward. We have everything you need here in this section to get you up and running. All you need to do is set aside time to read and then implement.

Whilst all of this content is available throughout other sections of The Store, we have made it even easier for you to locate in one place.

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Lightbulb Idea IconQUICK TIP: To find content quickly, use SEARCH [above right] with quotation marks e.g. "Estate Planning"; "Trauma"; "Claims", etc.

Estate Planning Imperatives For The Non-Lawyer: Part 3
Knowledge area (1.25 CPD) After reading this article you should be able to: › Broaden the insurance funding discussion to include factors, apart from finances, that have to be managed in a crisis › Review the client relationship messages, clarify & educate how an adviser can help ameliorate a drastic disruption of lifestyle › Educate a client as to what areas of forward planning for their "living" estate they have not yet addressed › Discuss the tools available to assist with the practical effects of critical health events.
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7 Threats Your Clients With Business Partners Should Consider
If you are a practising adviser, you will most certainly have a percentage of personal clients who are also SME business owners including some with one or more business partners e.g. medical, veterinary, legal, pharmacy, building, etc. This presents both a business risk and a business opportunity for you. Here's why.
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An Estate Crash For Peter Brock
A great summary of the estate planning issues to be understood and learned from Peter Brock's (well know Aussie racing driver) untimely death and lack of a current, valid Will. An extract from one of Brett Davies Lawyers' newsletters (reproduced with their permission)
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Business Structure Entity Tree Word Template
Do you draw a business structure or entity tree with your SME business clients? You should be for many reasons. If you are or want to but want to add a more polished, professional look when re-presenting this tree/diagram back to the client (via your advice document maybe) or at review time, use this editable Microsoft Word .docx template with all the icons and lines you need to create a professional record of your client's current business circumstances. There is a personal client version available too.
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Business Succession Planning: Keyperson Insurances
This looks specifically at the keyperson area of SME advice and addresses all the product solutions for the common risks. It also importantly refers to the keyperson needs of corporates, which require subtly different advice delivery.
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Don’t Rock The Lifeboat
One of those useful and striking case studies...about protecting clients from their own illogical decisions and protecting yourself if they go ahead with an illogical decision... This client cancelled an existing policy while awaiting a decision on another, then...guess what?? A great business succession & continuity planning (estate planning) case story.
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Estate Planning - Navigating The Right Advice Path
Being the pivotal point in your clients’ estate and business succession planning is a key ingredient in the crucial client relationship. How do you navigate that fine line between being a great facilitator and giving unauthorised advice? Peter McKnoulty from McCullough Robertson Lawyers tells how. See also the video, the MP3 audio version and the text transcript.
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Estate Planning - Navigating The Right Advice Path
This is a word-for-word transcript of a very informing webinar presentation on estate planning by Peter McKnoulty, senior partner of Brisbane based McCullough Robertson Lawyers. McCullough Robertson are one of the largest and most experienced estate planning law firms in Australia today. If you intend to offer estate planning based life risk advice, this is one paper you should read. See also the video, the slide presentation and the MP3 audio versions too.
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Estate Planning Imperatives For The Non Lawyer - Part 1
Learning objectives (1.25 CPD) After reading this you should be able to: › Devise a must‐use question set to establish clients’ estate planning aims › Describe the resulting necessary estate plan actions to which clients need to commit — and the dangers of not acting › Facilitate the legal and administrative documentation required to secure the clients’ outcomes through to completion › Manage a review process for estate adjustments as clients’ circumstances change over time.
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Estate Planning Imperatives For The Non Lawyer - Part 2
Learning objectives (1.25 CPD) After reading this you should be able to: › Educate a client as to what areas of forward planning they have not yet addressed › Review the use of ordinary (that is, not superannuation) life insurance mechanisms to secure a guaranteed estate outcome for a client family › Discuss the practical “health warnings” that clients who rely on family legal advice alone need to be aware of › Broach the hard topics of family interaction and expectations with clients.
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Family Dissolution And Risk
At a time of great emotional family turmoil, the thing that often slips through the cracks is the crucial need to manage the financial risks which emerge from the dissolution process (divorce and separation), most of them of a short term nature and many able to be best managed by insurance funding.
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Family Tree Word Template
Do you draw a family tree with your personal clients? You should be for many reasons. If you are or want to but want to add a more polished, professional look when re-presenting this tree/diagram back to the client (via your advice document maybe) or at review time, use this editable Microsoft Word .docx template with all the icons and lines you need to create a professional record of your client's current circumstances.
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Helpline: Children As Life Policy Beneficiaries
Needs Analysis and Policy Ownership: “Many times in the past I saw clients who would nominate their very young children as beneficiaries for Term Life…
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Helpline: Managing Policies Going Into Estates As Assets
Claims and Benefit Outcomes: “I was recently asked: if a husband holds a life insurance policy on the life of his wife, and then he dies, who then owns the policy? Does it go to the estate, or is the wife the owner? Also, are there any CGT implications for either of them dying?”
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Helpline: Term Life Benefits and Probate
Claims and Benefit Outcomes: “I wish to seek more information about the payment of a term life death benefit and probate. I understand that if a term life policy is greater than $50,000 it must go to probate. Is this correct?…
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Martin & Michael - A Business Succession Planning Case Study
When this interview was conducted on the main platform at one of The Risk Store's Annual Life Risk Forums, it created quite a wave of awareness of the practical outcomes of business succession planning. This is an emotional, real view of just what happens when a business partner suffers a very serious illness and remains alive to be a part of the withdrawal process from the business and the eventual outcomes for the business. It also highlights just what is in store for the ‘unaffected’ partner...who is in fact far from being ‘unaffected’. See also the video, and the MP3 audio version.
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Other Liability Out Of The Family ‘Sphere’
The potential risk associated with your < > was discussed and needs to be recognised. The nature of this risk is: Choose one e.g. sister becoming disabled; ex-partner contributing child support. cont...
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Planning For Life After Death
Advisers should remember that estate planning is not just for the rich. The fact finding and needs analysis processes can only lead to the right result for clients if the policy ownership is also addressed carefully and correctly for the client's situation.
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Podcast : Estate Planning - Navigating The Right Advice Path
Peter McKnoulty from McCullough Robertson Lawyers talks about being the pivotal point in your clients’ estate and business succession planning - this is a key ingredient in the crucial client relationship. How do you navigate that fine line between being a great facilitator and giving unauthorised advice? See also the video, the slide presentation and the text transcript. Duration 46:00min Size 6.7 MB
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Podcast : Martin & Michael - A Business Succession Planning Case Study
When this interview was conducted on the main platform at The Risk Store's Annual Life Risk Forum, it created quite a wave of awareness of the practical outcomes of business succession planning. This is an emotional, real view of just what happens when a business partner suffers a very serious illness and remains alive to be a part of the withdrawal process from the business and the eventual outcomes for the business. It also highlights just what is in store for the 'unaffected' partner...who is in fact far from being 'unaffected'. See also the video, and the text transcript. The generic but critical content of this presentation is as current now as it ever was - it is conceptual and as such invaluable for client engagement lessons. Duration 27:00min Size 8.5 MB
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Podcast : Nomination of Beneficiaries
Peter Bobbin from Argyle Lawyers examines everything you always wanted to know about nominating beneficiaries but were afraid to ask. This is a very technical and yet entertaining session with case studies. See also the video , the slide presentation and the text transcript . Duration 56:00min Size 7 MB
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Podcast : Trauma In Business Insurance
The use of trauma (critical illness) in business succession planning and the need to include trauma into the funding arrangements for business partners has always been a real challenge for advisers and spawns much debate. Matt Burgess, formally of McCullough Robertson Lawyers (now co-founder of View Legal) discusses what the issues are and how to meet them head-on and effectively for these clients and still achieve a robust and acceptable outcome. See also the video, the slide presentation and the text transcript. Duration 55:00min Size 7.6 MB
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RR Issue 019 - Is estate equalisation underdone?
What's the difference between estate funding and estate equalisation? Our Helpline is a source of interesting insights into the situations advisers encounter. Estate equalisation was raised last week and it's a subject I feel is way underdone by most advisers. Yet it can be overdone by others who verge on overinsuring their clients.
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RR Issue 045 - Is blood really thicker than water?
The effect on families when money's at stake This great estate planning case study - There's a dispute going on in Queensland at the moment which has seen a de facto widow wait 3 years already since her husband and business partner's death, only to still not have a resolution of the estate.
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RR Issue 054 - Locking in those referral relationships
Proving your knowledge to professional referral sources.
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RR Issue 057 - An estate crash!
Some lessons from Peter Brock's (Aussie racing car legend) estate debacle. This case study is not only fascinating but it contains succinct and straightforward warnings of the problem outcomes - ones that could happen to any client.
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RR Issue 060 - It's an uphill sale
Disclaimer letters and how to use them effectively It's common for us to be asked, via our email Technical Helpline, about the most effective way to counter a client's natural inclination to regard an employer's Group Salary Continuance (GSC) insurance offer as being sufficient to address their need to protect income.
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RR Issue 071 - Once upon a time there were 4 brothers
A story of lack of conviction, without a happy ending An excellent estate planning case study / story. A great learning piece with an equally great Tale of The Week included.
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RR Issue 074 - Bye Bye Benefits? Or Hello Happy Future Clients?
Making sure you keep the beneficiaries in the loop during the advice years... or you'll lose control of the payouts. An article in yesterday's press has captured our attention because it relates to something we have been thinking about lately...
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RR Issue 096 - Will Justice Be Served?
This issue looks at Estate Planning and the importance of getting the right result if the worst happens, in the context of financial advising. Dealing with a specialist Estate Planning Lawyer is paramount.
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RR Issue 103 - “I Don't Do Much Estate Planning”
The link between life risk advising and estate planning and how the two can and should be more proactively interlinked.
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RR Issue 113 - Family Advice - Now Or Never?
Drawing family (and indeed close friends) into your client base is often reported as an uncomfortable thing for advisers to do.
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RR Issue 115 - Estate Planning - Joining The Throng
The estate planning approach is arguably easier for life risk advisers to position than it is for investment specialists – after all estate planning most often is centred around and anchored by wealth and...
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RR Issue 116 - The Simple Things Are Often The Best
The lack of ‘soft’ skills that many advisers are feeling they suffer from in this compliant and technological age!
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RR Issue 120 - ‘Tis The Season To Tidy Up - 10 Ideas For The New Year
December and January is time in the office to think about actually getting some of those tidy-up and practice development tasks achieved this year. Here’s a checklist of the sorts of things you might prioritise to get done, finally, in your practice – with or without the input of your practice staff.
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RR Issue 148 - An Adviser’s Trauma ‘Teaser’
Adviser, Troy Edmondson, responds to our 27th June issue where we used the ABC TV’s story of a terminally ill man trying to get hold of an expensive drug as the background for our Risk Read message about changing our language to that of “living choices” from insurance funding.
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RR Issue 152 - Don’t Regret Your Clients Lack Of Will
With our webinar series on the adviser’s role in estate planning just successfully delivered, it’s timely to add some practical pointers to the mix, for when the client actually dies.
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RR Issue 156 - TPD Falls Short Of Best Interests
Our webinar on the costs of care two weeks ago, while being well received as useful and informative and for many enlightening, also caused a minor storm of criticism of the industry’s capacity for and understanding of the sums insured clients genuinely require if [permanently] disabled. The accompanying tale of the week is about the critical importance of ensuring your clients as parents have power to act for their children if they couldn’t act for themselves e.g. being Enduring Power-of-Attorney.
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RR Issue 162 - Claims Are The Only Story
Here is our take on the ‘national’ claims story including some useful claims stats. The Tale of The Week this time is about the importance of binding nominations for life in super (and the ramifications if you don’t) and estate planning as the positioning piece in your advice process. Includes a case study.
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RR Issue 170 - More Estate Planning Gems - Real Case Study
More New Positioning For Thinking Advisers - The first of two perfect ‘estate planning’ case study examples have landed in our laps. Here’s the first one. The Tale of The Week 'Signing Apps Without Reading Them – No Excuse!' is a lovely case study from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and demonstrates the importance of remembering to explain to your clients it’s not just their duty of disclosure that is important, equally they need to understand what they are completing and signing. They need to read their own documentation.
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RR Issue 171 - Another Estate Planning Gem
This describes a real claim we had involvement with and, like the last case, it showcases the purposeful use of nominations on ordinary, not super, policies. The difference is that this case was a nomination in action, after death, whereas the last one was the planning for the event, just in case. The Tale of The Week is not underestimating the non-disclosure issue; we have seen too many to say it won’t happen to you. These steps might mean you can avoid the angst that can go with these cases and can be confident your ‘story’ is solid.
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RR Issue 177 - SME Engagement Made Easy!
We have learned that the most difficult thing to get across to advisers is how hard they make it for SME clients to understand what business succession planning does. This is a short but meaty, practical, description of the ideal first meeting with an SME. The Tale of The Week is another FOS case study. You won’t believe this one!
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RR Issue 183 - MySuper claims biting into advisers’ knowledge - Part 1
So many Aussies have default MySuper insurance now that the emerging raft of claims is biting into advisers’ knowledge and practices. Although it’s seen by the advisers willing to take on the role of assisting these claimants as normal, it’s not a role that most advisers are prepared for. The path of a claim through the industry superannuation regime is unfamiliar to many and what to do and where to go for information and advice is a new discovery process and its unfamiliarity is no doubt starting to affect productivity. The Tale of The Week asks are you educating your clients on a consistent annual basis about the importance of having AND maintaining a binding beneficiary nomination? Have you developed a campaign or method for conducting this yet? You need to have one.
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Some Home Truths For Risk Advisers
There is always room for improvement in the risk advice space. One should never-ever stop learning and absorbing knowledge. Sue Laing provides some useful guidance on: estate planning facilitation; insurance in super; why trauma for the secondary breadwinner?; claims case studies; having process; and handling death. A must-read article for advisers new and experienced.
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Targeting SMEs Through Business Succession Planning
Engaging a small to medium enterprise business client in a discussion on risk management demands an empathy with their 'world' and particularly their emotional drivers. When advice is delivered it needs to mirror that empathy. This article examines why it can still be difficult to target this market, and how this difficulty can be overcome. Adding business succession or continuity planning to your activities can result in increased revenue (between 4-9 times compared to personal advice), and a client base you otherwise may not have had the means to capture.
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The Sphere Of Risk - Playing a Broader Role In Risk Management
Ensuring that all possible risks have been addressed in the advice given is essential to doing a robust job of life risk. If a father providing child support dies and a child is left unsupported, shouldn't the adviser have at least warned of that risk? It is all too often that the advice provided has been driven by just a few fact-finding questions which have not adequately uncovered the totality of a client family's detriment. Rather than asking "What are all the circumstances which would be of detriment within your whole family (and business for that matter) sphere, if you were to die?" The common questions imply "What would happen to your spouse and children if you were to die?" This is not broad enough, if an adviser is to do a truly thorough job during the advice process.
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The Untapped Potential With Client Minorities
Ensuring that you spread your net widely enough across all needy categories in your client base will help capture those apparently 'fringe' risks, which are in reality just as crucial to address as the traditional family client unit.
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Trauma In Business Insurance
The use of Trauma in business succession planning and the need to include trauma into the funding arrangements for business partners has always been a real challenge for advisers and spawns much debate. Matt Burgess from McCullough Robertson Lawyers discussed what the issues are and how to meet them head-on and effectively for these clients and still achieve a robust and acceptable outcome. See also the video, the MP3 audio version and the text transcript in the store.
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Using the Living Insurances in Business Succession...Successfully!
by Brant Dillon and Matthew Burgess - Financial Adviser and Trainer | Estate Planning Lawyer and Expert Meeting the particular challenges of these products' application to business insurances.
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Video: Estate Planning - Navigating The Right Advice Path
Being the pivotal point in your clients’ estate and business succession planning is a key ingredient in the crucial client relationship. How do you navigate that fine line between being a great facilitator and giving unauthorised advice? Peter McKnoulty, Partner from McCullough Robertson Lawyers tells how... See also the slide presentation, the text transcript and the MP3 audio version. Note: we apologise for the lo-res, but still watchable version. Duration 46:00
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Video: Martin & Michael - A Business Succession Planning Case Study
When this interview was conducted on the main platform at the risk store's annual conference in April 2008, it created quite a wave of awareness of the practical outcomes of business succession planning. This is an emotional, real view of just what happens when a business partner suffers a very serious illness and remains alive to be a part of the withdrawal process from the business and the eventual outcomes for the business. It also highlights just what is in store for the 'unaffected' partner...who is in fact far from being 'unaffected'. This video is still very relevant now as it was in 2008. See also the MP3 audio file, and the text transcript. Note: we apologise for the lo-res, but still watchable version. Duration 27:00
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Video: Nomination Of Beneficiaries
Specialist estate planning lawyer, Peter Bobbin, examines everything you always wanted to know about nominating beneficiaries but were afraid to ask. This is a very technical and yet entertaining session with case studies. See also the slide presentation, the text transcript and the MP3 audio version. Note: we apologise for the lo-res, but still watchable version. Duration 56:00
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Video: Policy Ownership Strategies
Getting the facts about the financial needs is one thing. Getting the sums insured right is another thing. The third skill - structuring so the benefits are paid to the right person or entity and keeping this up-to-date - can make or break the outcome. See also the Technical Article accompanying this video. Note: we apologise for the lo-res, but still watchable version. Duration 8:22 Please note that the information in regard to issues of superannuation ownership of life insurance has now altered since this video was produced.
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Video: Trauma & Buy/Sell Deeds
What Happens When Things Don't Go According To Plan? Another great learning session hosted by the risk store and presented by leading estate planning and business succession planning law firm, McCullough Robertson Lawyers based in Brisbane. This is a must see video for advisers working with SME clients, wanting to fully understand the ramifications and benefits of incorporating Trauma cover as part of your advice solution. Note: we apologise for the lo-res, but still watchable version. Duration 1:07:36
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Video: Trauma In Business Insurance
The use of trauma in business succession planning and the need to include trauma into the funding arrangements for business partners has always been a real challenge for advisers and spawns much debate. Matt Burgess from McCullough Robertson Lawyers discussed what the issues are and how to meet them head-on and effectively for these clients and still achieve a robust and acceptable outcome. See also the slide presentation, the text transcript and the MP3 audio version. Note: we apologise for the lo-res, but still watchable version. Duration 55:00
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Webinar Transcript: Trauma In Business Insurance
Matt Burgess formally of McCullough Robertson Lawyers presents the use of trauma in business succession planning and the need to include trauma into the funding arrangements for business partners has always been a real challenge for advisers and spawns much debate. This session discussed what the issues are and how to meet them head-on and effectively for these clients and still achieve a robust and acceptable outcome. See also the video, the slide presentation and the MP3 audio version.
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