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Asset planning may involve transferring assets to an appropriate entity such as a company or a trust.  These are discussed in our article on Ownership Structures. There are a number of reasons for asset planning, some of which may be applicable to you:


1. Protecting your assets from future claims

Holding certain assets in an entity that protects them from claims against you, your estate, your family members, or their estates. These claims can be made by:

  • the Crown if you or your family members commit some kind of offence – these are much more comprehensive with the Health & Safety in Employment Act;
  • your family under the Family Proceedings Act - this Act allows family members and step children to challenge your will, and claims under the Testamentary Promises Act;
  • your spouse or your childrens' spouses under the Property (Relationships) Act - this Act now applies to both people in de facto relationships and married persons;
  • third party creditors under contracts – this relates to your personal liability;
  • members of the public – if it is proven you have legally wronged them – e.g. negligence

2. Flexibility
If personal, legal, or tax requirements change then you should hold assets in an entity that enables you to deal with your assets in the light of those changes.

3. Tax

Your asset plan should promote the minimisation of tax.

4. Future eligibility for asset tested benefits

You or your family members may be asset tested to determine eligibility for certain medical, rest home, and other government subsidies.

5. Transferring assets

It may be desirable to hold assets in an entity that allows you to transfer an asset efficiently to others such as your children on retirement.

6. Management

Sometimes it is desirable to hold assets in an entity that allows the asset to be managed by a one person or a small group of persons for the benefit of a number of people.

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