FAMILY AND ESTATE PLANNING – SPECIAL DISABILITY TRUSTS
23rd February 2021
AUTHOR: Kate Smith
At PVW Partners, we understand the value of family conversations and sometimes the sensitivity involved.
However, the most difficult conversations to have may also hold the most significant importance in your own financial future as well as that of your loved ones- ensuring everyone is looked after for years to come.
If you were following PVW Partners Succession Planning Series in 2020, you would be familiar with what a succession plan is, and how vital it is to a family business. Family and estate planning is the personal equivalent of a succession plan and are even more vital when dealing with disabled family members.
When coming to terms with a loved one being diagnosed with a physical or mental disability, the last thing that you likely want to think about are finances and asset protection. However, as with family succession, ensuring that all family members are protected and taken care of is essential in future planning.
We are often required to assist in the process of establishing a Special Disability Trust for a family member deemed to be severely disabled. Similarly to other trusts, we assist clients to establish and manage Special Disability Trusts, helping with annual financial reporting, taxation work, administration and Department of Human Services reporting.
A Special Disability Trust enable funds to be held on behalf of the one beneficiary to assist in their care and accommodation needs. As part of succession and family estate planning there are taxation concessions available to the family and the beneficiary to enable access to care and support, even after family carers have passed away.
Additionally, concessional Centrelink asset limits and income tests are available to the beneficiary of the trust as well as the donors.
While these conversations are often complex and emotional, a trusted Advisor can help to navigate the situation and start the ‘where to from here’ planning process.
The first step is to contact the Department of Human Services to confirm if a family member is eligible for a Special Disability Trust. A solicitor can then advise what additional provisions may be required in your will regarding the Special Disability Trust.
Get in touch with PVW Partners to find out how we can help you consider your individual situation and unique needs.
About the Author:
Kate has over 20 years’ experience in accounting, taxation and business advisory.
She is passionate about our region and has extensive experience advising small to medium family enterprises.
Outside of PVW Partners, Kate is Treasurer of the Townsville Chamber of Commerce and previously held Board positions with the Townsville Hospital Foundation and Zonta Club of Townsville Metro.