Experienced Accountants Providing Expert Asset Protection Advice
Due to financial and personal complexities, many people, unfortunately, have their assets inadequately protected and are running the risk of losing them in an unpredictable event. Divorce, business or personal legal issues, family disputes and sudden insurance claim against you, are four common instances that may place your assets in jeopardy. We have all worked hard our entire lives to acquire funds and assets, so do not risk jeopardising that effort with insufficient asset protection.
BBAS Accounting Services have experts on hand that can provide advice on how to best structure your assets and potential liabilities so that in any unforeseen event your assets remain protected. Our highly skilled team can ensure that you:
- Maximise the security of your assets.
- Ensure that your asset ownership is under the most appropriate structure.
- Create a clear separation between personal and business assets.
- Establish maximum asset security before any event occurs.
Advice On The Best Asset Protection Strategies
Our experts have comprehensive knowledge and experience in setting up and implementing all asset protection structures. We ensure that we take the time to understand your personal situation and design a structure that meets your current and growing needs.
Determining how your assets are owned is equally as important as choosing which asset to buy, but very often it doesn’t get the same consideration.
- Should an asset be owned by jointly or by one individual? If individually, is your preference, then which individual should own each investment? Perhaps the lowest income earner, or should it be one who pays the least tax?
- Should assets be owned as tenants in common or joint tenants?
- Should each asset be owned directly, or under a structure like a trust, superannuation fund or company? Ownership structures do provide access to additional benefits, which may be appealing to particular groups of people.
Certain entity structures can provide additional benefits to you which otherwise may not be entitled to. You need to consider:
- What are the tax implications and/or advantages?
- Does a particular structure provide asset protection benefits?
- Are there any estate planning considerations? Understanding how your assets are dealt with in the event of your death is extremely important too.
Sole asset ownership is when the asset is registered in your own name, for example, your bank account. Many people have a bank account in their own name, but also have a joint bank account with their spouse or significant other. Sole asset ownership makes it very clear who owns the asset or investment.
Any income earned under asset ownership is taxed under your personal name. Therefore, it makes sense to hold investment assets under the name of the spouse who has the lowest taxable income, as this will minimise the tax payable.
In the unfortunate circumstance of death, solely owned assets are dealt with under a Will, do not automatically transfer to another person.
Jointly Owned Assets (Non-Estate Assets)
Jointly owned assets are those, which you own equally with another entity or person. A common example of jointly owned assets is a house that a husband and wife purchased equally or a joint bank account.
Joint assets are not deemed as assets of an individual’s estate, and therefore can’t be disposed of under a Will. In the event that one owner dies, the asset typically passes directly to the surviving owner.
In the case of the earlier husband and wife example who jointly owning their home should the wife die, the asset will pass directly to the husband, and he will own the entire house. This occurs even if the wife’s Will states she that left her share left to their children. Joint tenancy always overrides the preference in a person’s Will.
Tenants-in-Common Assets (Estate Assets)
A tenancy-in-common arrangement exists when two or more persons have a legal share in an asset. They do not have to hold the asset in equal portions, for example, you could purchase a property with a friend and you own 60% while they own 40%. When one owner dies, there is no automatic transfer of that share to the other owner(s). Assets held under a tenancy-in-common are considered assets of an individual’s estate. Upon the death of an owner under a tenancy-in-common arrangement, the deceased’s portion of the asset is treated as a separate asset for CGT purposes. This means it is very important to ensure that you include assets held as tenants-in-common in your Will.
Other structure types used for asset protection
Perhaps another asset protection structure is best for your situations, such as:
- A separate legal entity, which provides a high level of asset protection ensuring that the owner’s personal assets are separated from business liabilities and litigation. A further benefit of operating a company structure is the reduced company tax rate of 30% (compared to the personal tax rate being as much as of 45%).
- A superannuation investment structure enjoys special taxation considerations to encourage individuals to provide for their retirement. Most investments can be in the form of Cash, Property, Fixed Interest, or Shares. The advantage of having superannuation is that investment income is taxed at no more than 15%.
- Family trust refers to a discretionary trust that is established to hold the assets of a family or is used to conduct a family business. Generally, this structure is created for tax minimisation and asset protection purposes.
Need Asset Protection Advice? Talk to Our Asset Protection Advisors Today!
Whether you are ready to establish your structure today, or you need advice on what best suits your circumstances, our asset protection advisors can help you.
Call us today for a confidential discussion or complete the online form below and we will contact you.
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