Summary

In any de facto relationship or marriage, the boundary between "what's mine" and "what's ours" is not always clear cut in the eyes of the law. 

In this article, we discuss asset planning and look at how a Financial Agreement can be a valuable asset planning tool for those wishing to protect their wealth and/or ensure that their families are taken care of, both during their lifetime and in the event of their death.

Asset planning and estate planning are topics that many of us prefer not to think about, but they are wise courses of action for those wishing to protect their wealth and/or ensure that their families are taken care of, both during their lifetime and in the event of their death.

Each involves a holistic planning approach, where you and your financial and legal advisers will consider how you would like to deal with your estate and to identify strategies to manage various legal issues which may come into play over future years and generations in relation to your estate.

What is my estate?

Your estate is all your property and assets, including financial assets, companies and other business interests.

Estate and asset planning generally cover how you would like your estate dealt with upon your death, but they can also be used to plan how you would like to deal with your estate during your life time.

Where do Financial Agreements fit into this?

A Financial Agreement can be used in conjunction with other asset planning documents, such as wills and trusts, to provide a complete suite of asset planning measures.

The preparation of a Financial Agreement is a technical process which requires a high degree of expertise, but the protection they afford is unique.

Financial Agreements allow you to determine how your assets are dealt with in the event that you and your partner separate or divorce. Some people use a Financial Agreement to deal with all of their assets and financial resources, while others focus just on specific assets. For example, a person can use a Financial Agreement to quarantine family gifts, inheritances, and beneficial interests in family trusts, both existing and future.

This can be a useful tool for people who wish to protect their own assets and financial resources during their lifetime. It can also be helpful when considering how to safeguard assets which are intended to pass to children or future generations.