Being Smart About Retirement | Pitt & Moore, Lawyers in Nelson
Being Smart About Retirement
If you’re looking forward to spending less time on your agricultural business and more on enjoying your life as you head towards retirement, then you’re not alone. Like many of our clients, you’re of the baby-boomer generation who have worked hard for decades to generate income from the land and now want to plan the transfer of your assets and capital to the succeeding generation while still retaining resources to pursue your dreams.
Whether retirement is imminent or still in the future, it’s a good idea to start planning for the kind of lifestyle you want to lead in the future. Reviewing your aspirations is important but there may also be other issues. Changes in legislation and in circumstances may warrant a reconsideration of the legal and accounting structures you currently have in place if your needs and the needs of your family are to be met, and the succession of your family business is to be achieved.
In some cases lives have changed through bereavement and sometimes a second marriage. Your children may have special needs or perhaps it transpires that they’re not particularly good with money. There can be concerns about your children’s marriage or relationship partner and the prospect of claims against them as a result of their succession to your wealth. How to protect and fairly manage your assets can be a real test. Also delicate and stressful situations can arise when one or more of your children wish to take over the farm or family business, and yet you are striving to treat all your children fairly.
If you have a Trust you need to review it. You need to ensure that the beneficiaries of the Trust are still appropriate. Also, even more important than who the Trustees are is the question of who can appoint the Trustees. Trusts should provide flexibility, but if you have particular wishes, you can set them out for the Trustees in a Memorandum of Wishes. While it is most likely that those wishes will not be legally binding on the Trustees, they will be strongly persuasive.
You should also have in place Enduring Powers of Attorney in respect of property and your personal care and welfare. If you lose your mental capacity as a result of an accident or medical event, then an Enduring Power of Attorney, in respect of property, will enable your farm and business matters to continue smoothly. An Enduring Power of Attorney in respect of your personal care and welfare will ensure you are looked after by those you trust.
And of course, you need to check your Will to make sure it’s consistent with ownership structures and your wishes. A timely review gives you the comfort of knowing your affairs are in the best possible order to provide for you and those you love.
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Contact our Inheritance Planning Team today to discuss how we can assist you.
Disclaimer: This article should not be used as a substitute for legal advice tailored for your specific circumstances.