Life Insurance, Estate and Succession Planning – Feast or famine for the tax man

Jeffrey Scott is the Senior Manager, Product Development, Life Insurance at BT Financial Group. With 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry, he is a regular media commentator on the topics of taxation, insurance, superannuation and finance. He also created the first terminal illness benefit for life insurance products in Australia, helped develop lump sum income protection benefits and introduced full replacement (100%) cover for loss of income. He is currently completing his PhD in Taxation and Business Law at UNSW.

We spoke to Jeffrey about the upcoming 13th Annual Estate & Business Succession Planning day, and his session ‘Life Insurance, Estate and Succession Planning – Feast or famine for the tax man’.

Affiliated with The Tax Institute since 2006, Jeffrey told us the Annual Estate & Business Succession Planning day “is an opportunity to learn from the best taxation practitioners in Australia in the areas of estate planning and business succession planning. More broadly to the taxation profession, the conference is an opportunity to explore the latest case studies, legislation, and court decisions that will assist taxation practitioners in providing the best solutions for their customers/clients”.

Jeffrey’s session examines using life insurance as an estate planning and succession planning funding mechanism. It looks at the potential tax implications of various funding structures and the implications on beneficiaries, using insurance to fund buy sell agreements, how buy sell agreements can be structured, as well as key person insurance and tax implications.

He said, delegates “will take away some key tips and tricks, namely; document EVERYTHING. Lack of appropriate documentation can have adverse taxation implications for any SME. Also, life insurance is the most cost effective and appropriate business succession funding mechanism if the worst happens and someone tragically suffers a permanent disablement or death.”

“As most SME clients are too busy working in their respective businesses, my session will assist the delegates in raising awareness with their clients of the importance of planning for their inevitable exit from their business, either via retirement, buy-out, death or disablement” he said.

Jeffrey told us he will also cover “Whether or not using a SMSF to fund business succession arrangements is an appropriate strategy", hinting that "It’s not”.

Aside from being a regular presenter at conferences and seminars, Jeffrey mentioned he spends what spare time has “Completing my PhD thesis in Taxation and Business Law, and refereeing the odd ice hockey match - something that’s still in my blood as a Canadian".

The 13th Annual Estate & Business Succession Planning takes place 4 August 2016 at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. Find out more.


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