WHAT'S THE BOOK ABOUT?
The book, into its third edition, covers estate planning, wills, trusts and succession as they relate to wealth management.
It is written for financial services professionals and estate planners to help them plan matters such as structuring a suitable vehicle in which their customers can hold investments and other assets, as well as the distribution of their wealth.
The author is a lawyer in Britain and Singapore who holds an MBA from the Nanyang Business School. In 2008, he joined Rockwills in Singapore as chief executive to spearhead the firm's business in estate planning, wills and trusts.
The third edition has been expanded to 24 chapters and includes interesting real-life case studies.
Topics include wealth management, asset holding structures, estate planning, wills, intestacy, estate administration, an introduction to trusts, the standby trust, property trust, life insurance trusts, succession of family businesses and private trust companies, asset protection, Muslim estates and inheritance, tax planning, offshore financial business, mental capacity and charitable giving.
SEVEN KEY TAKEAWAYS
1. There are many issues a person needs to address when it comes to estate planning, as well as when identifying suitable vehicles for wealth transfer and building up family reserves.
2. It is important to understand the use of wills, how they can be amended and how earlier wills can revoked, and other instruments in legacy planning. For example, stepchildren have no claims to the estates left behind by their step-parents.
3. The book explains what estate administration involves, the role of the executor and trustee, and the responsibilities and duties relating to the appointment.
4. You can learn how to use trusts in your legacy plans, and trusteeship of your assets, such as investments and real estate. For instance, the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty can be avoided where a property is bought in trust by a parent for his child, subject to certain conditions.
5. Wealth transfer is an important matter. The author deals with issues concerning the succession of family businesses to the next generation with specialised trusts and family private trust companies.
6. The book describes how you should prepare for potential vulnerabilities such as mental incapacity or other special needs.
7. For those keen on community giving, there is a chapter on how you could leave legacies for charitable or philanthropic causes.