A Discussion with Adeline Schiralli on the Key Issues in Succession Planning

Adeline Schiralli

We recently sat down with Adeline Schiralli, Consulting Principal at Keypoint Law to provide a sneak peek of her upcoming presentation at the 2nd Annual Property Taxation and Advisory Conference, which will focus on the key issues in succession planning.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself (experience, your company, expertise, etc)?

My name is Adeline Schiralli. I am a Consulting Principal of Keypoint Law in their Wills and Estates department. Keypoint Law is an innovative and award-winning law firm. Keypoint’s team of senior lawyers provides a comprehensive range of law services from our offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. Our clients are serviced by talented senior lawyers who, free from the constraints of the conventional law firm structure, are able to provide an exceptional, personalised service at a value our clients require. Prior to joining Keypoint Law, I was a senior associate at a prominent suburban law firm. I have practiced almost exclusively in the wills, estate planning and elder law area for over 12 years and hold my Masters of Law (Applied Law) where I majored in Wills and Estates. I was also listed in the prestigious Doyles Guide 2017 as a “Rising Star” in the category of Wills, Estates and Succession Planning.

What is one of the main property succession issues that challenges advisers the most?

One of the most intricate issues in relation estate planning is the control of a company, trust or SMSF following the death or incapacity of a key individual. Measures outside of the scope of the person’s will are generally required and forward planning is essential.

What is one of the common mistakes advisers usually make in this area?

Underestimating the importance of proper and wholistic estate planning advice. Although Estate Planning is not an area that financial advisors can provide advice on, it is crucial that financial advisors alert their clients to the pitfalls of not having a proper estate plan in place and guide them towards obtaining sound advice for their individual circumstances. A great advisor understands the estate planning issues and works with an estate planning lawyer to ensure that the client’s overall objectives are met.

Do practitioners take different approach nowadays when they deal with properties in succession planning? Please brief one of the major differences.

There has been a very steady shift towards looking at an estate as a whole as opposed to gifting of specific gifts (including property) in a person’s will. With “change” in a person’s circumstances (whether that be financial or otherwise) being more common than ever, there is a great risk at leaving specific gifts of property to a beneficiary in a person’s will. Another shift has also been towards the use of testamentary trusts as an estate planning tool.

What are some of the big trends and developments you see ahead in this area?

There are currently anticipated reforms in the area of incapacity where a complete overhaul of the Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship powers has been recommended. If these reforms are passed, there will be a shift towards “assisted decision making” as opposed to “substitute decision making” and the reasoning behind these proposed reforms is due to our ageing population and more people with diminished capacity as opposed to being completely incapacitated. So watch this space!

Your topic will be focusing on ‘Succession Planning’. What do you see are some of the key takeaways and benefits for practitioners and their practice from attending your session?

My session will focus on the benefits of proper succession planning and the pitfalls that can occur when things are not done properly. Advisors who attend this session will walk away with greater knowledge on the estate planning process and insights as to how a proper estate plan is a valuable tool for their clients.

Adeline Schiralli is an accomplished estate planning and elder law solicitor with extensive experience developing comprehensive and practical estate plans that suit the individual circumstances of her clients. Prior to joining Keypoint Law as a Consulting Principal, Adeline was a Senior Associate in the Wills and Estates team of a large prominent suburban firm. Adeline is adept at advising clients on matters including the implementation of wills (particularly sophisticated testamentary trust wills), powers of attorney and enduring guardianships, superannuation death benefit nominations and properly gifting the control of entities (including private companies and/or trusts) to the appropriate person(s) in the event of death and/or incapacity. Adeline can also assist clients in relation to the administration of a deceased persons’ estate and regularly advises clients in relation to retirement village contracts and aged care agreements. Adeline is passionate about obtaining peace of mind for her clients in relation to their estate planning and elder law needs, and regularly presents seminars to other solicitors, professionals and to members of the public in the area of wills, estates and elder law. Her approach is underpinned by her commitment to achieving peace of mind for her clients in relation to their wills, estate planning and elder law needs. She has a “no-nonsense” style to advising clients in all aspects of wills, estates and elder law and her attention to detail is exemplary. Adeline takes a holistic approach to estate planning and works closely with her client’s other advisors (accountants, financial planners etc.) to best achieve her client’s objectives. You may connect with Adeline by email adeline.schiralli@keypointlaw.com.au or via LinkedIn