Help avail­able when pre­par­ing for worst

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

Grant Eddy, di­rec­tor of Co­op­erAitken, of­ten asks the ques­tions of his clients ‘‘ What would hap­pen if you were not here to­mor­row?’’ He said this ques­tion en­cour­aged clients to think about putting struc­tures and po­lices in place; an es­tate plan, in case of death or se­ri­ous ill­ness/in­jury.

Your es­tate plan will cover aspects such as:

How would the fam­ily be pro­vided for in the fu­ture? Wealth cre­ation and pro­tec­tion. Who are my ben­e­fi­cia­ries and their en­ti­tle­ments?

How are chil­dren cared for in their par­ents’ ab­sence?

When can the ben­e­fi­cia­ries ac­cess their en­ti­tle­ments?

What hap­pens if a fam­ily mem­ber suf­fers a trauma pre­vent­ing fo­cus on the farm?

How will the farm and busi­ness con­tinue short to medium term due to death or trauma?

Are there any re­la­tion­ship prop­erty is­sues?

What are the tax and other govern­ment risks with the con­se­quences of the above?

Mr Eddy said: ‘‘ When death or trauma oc­curs there are pre­cau­tious we can take to make life eas­ier for the fam­ily. These steps avoid un­nec­es­sary de­lays, ex­tra costs and additional stress when the fam­ily is re­cov­er­ing.’’

Hav­ing mat­ters in or­der will also as­sist your pro­fes­sional ad­vi­sors look­ing af­ter your fi­nan­cial and busi­ness af­fairs.

Mr Eddy said that most peo­ple who had a will would have ar­ranged it through their lawyer but they of­ten for­get to in­clude their ac­coun­tant in the dis­cus­sions. This is a con­cern for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons. Mr Eddy said: ‘‘ Many farm­ing busi­ness struc­tures are com­plex with com­pa­nies and trusts in­volved. Es­tate plan­ning does re­quire a com­pre­hen­sive so­lu­tion and ad­vice from both the farmer’s ac­coun­tant and lawyer to en­sure these com­plex aspects all align’.

For ex­am­ple Mr Eddy has come across sit­u­a­tions where clients have thought they had left as­sets to chil­dren in their wills but, as the as­sets were in a trust this was not the case. The will did not have the power to dis­trib­ute as­sets from the trust.

Most farm­ers meet with their ac­coun­tant reg­u­larly to man­age many is­sues in­clud­ing tax plan­ning, fi­nanc­ing re­quire­ments, ACC, stock val­u­a­tion, as­set pro­tec­tion, etc and as a re­sult their farm­ing struc­ture can of­ten change. There­fore your ac­coun­tant is vi­tal to as­sist with en­sur­ing your es­tate plan aligns to both your wishes and your ever chang­ing farm­ing struc­ture.

Your ac­coun­tant will also be aware of the ever chang­ing tax rules, for ex­am­ple the new gift­ing rules com­ing into ef­fect next month and there­fore will as­sist in im­ple­ment­ing changes into your es­tate plan.

Mr Eddy also said with re­gards to risk in­sur­ance, this also needs to be reg­u­larly re­viewed to re­flect day to day changes in the farm such as level of fam­ily de­pen­dence, amount of debt, in­come lev­els and owner in­volve­ment.

To dis­cuss any­thing raised in this ar­ti­cle please feel free to con­tact Grant Eddy at Co­op­erAitken Ltd.

Grant Eddy

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