From Generation to Generation: Best Practices for Distributing Your Wealth

From Generation to Generation: Best Practices for Distributing Your Wealth

When transitioning your wealth to your children, you must know the legal and tax implications that may affect your estate. While every country has its rules, this blog will focus on the Australian context, shedding light on some key points to consider when planning your wealth succession.

Inheritance Tax: A Non-issue in Australia

Unlike many countries where your heirs might face hefty taxes on their inheritance, Australia does not impose any direct inheritance tax. Any money received as part of a Will is not subject to immediate taxation. This presents a significant advantage for beneficiaries in Australia, ensuring that taxes do not diminish the wealth you leave behind upon your death.

Understanding Capital Gains Tax and Property Inheritance

Although the absence of inheritance tax is a relief, it’s essential to understand how Capital Gains Tax (CGT) could affect your property assets after your death. Here are some scenarios to consider:

  1. Inheriting the Family Home:
    • Generally, there’s no CGT payable when a dwelling is inherited. However, if the property is later sold, CGT may apply.
    • If the inherited property is the deceased’s family home, and the beneficiaries sell it within two years of the deceased’s death, CGT is typically not applicable. Note that this 2-year period may be extended under certain conditions, offering some flexibility in managing the property.
  2. Retaining the Deceased’s Home:
    • If the beneficiary chooses to retain the deceased’s home as their principal place of residence, they are exempt from paying CGT upon its sale. This incentivises beneficiaries to maintain the family home, preserving it as a lasting legacy.
  3. Dealing with Investment Properties:
    • For investment properties acquired by the deceased before 20 September 1985 and sold within two years of their death, no CGT is charged. This provision offers a window of opportunity to manage older investment properties without immediate tax burdens.
    • On the other hand, investment properties purchased by the deceased after 20 September 1985 are subject to CGT when sold by the estate’s executor or the beneficiaries. This highlights the importance of careful planning and timing when dealing with more recent property investments.

The insights provided here only scratch the surface of the intricate considerations involved in wealth transition. When formulating your Will and planning for the future of your estate, it’s advisable to seek professional guidance. This ensures that your wealth is distributed according to your wishes while also optimising the financial outcome for your beneficiaries.

Remember, a well-informed approach to wealth transition is the key to preserving your legacy and providing for your loved ones.

Should you require further information in relation to passing your wealth to your children, please feel free to contact Peter Quinn by submitting an enquiry or calling us on +61 2 9580 9166 to book an obligation free appointment.

The information in this document does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. It is important that your personal circumstances are taken into account before making any financial decision and it is recommended that you seek assistance from your financial adviser.