Self Managed Super Fund Advice

Self Managed Super Fund Advice

With many clients now having a large portfolio of their retirements assets held in a self managed superannuation fund (SMSF), it is important that their estate planning lawyer understand the relationship between their super and their other estate planning needs and requirements. We can help.

We advise our clients on issues including the establishment of a SMSF, and the creation of its corporate trustee where necessary. We assist our clients by varying super fund trust deeds to ensure that they keep up with the constantly changing super laws. Many clients ask us how to use their SMSF to buy business real property or how to transfer business real property into their SMSF and minimise the stamp duty and capital gains tax (CGT) when doing so. We have undertaken many such transactions, and we can ensure that the purchase or transfer of the property goes smoothly, without incurring unnecessary tax.

We frequently advise superannuation trustees of their duties and in particular, we can explain issues such as the sole purpose test, and the general restrictions on borrowing, and issues such as non-arms length investments. We can also help our clients understand the restrictions relating to the acquisition of assets from related parties, and the in-house asset provisions.

In our estate planning advice, we focus on superannuation death benefits and explain to our clients what they are and who can receive them. We assist our clients by discussing how a superannuation death benefit can be paid, when a death benefit pension can be commuted to a lump sum, and the interaction between child death benefits and a superannuation proceeds trust in our client’s will. We discuss related issues such as binding death benefit nominations and reversionary pensions where necessary.

All these matters are important and our clients’ accountants and financial planners each have a valuable contribution to make when advising our clients on such matters. We liaise with our client’s accountants and financial planners when determining the tax treatment of death benefits and how the tax for non-dependent beneficiaries can be reduced. This ensures that our clients get rounded advice, and that all our client’s professional assistants give the one tailored message.

One of the issues for SMSFs is the control of the super fund following incapacity and the interaction between a properly worded Power of Attorney and the on-going function of the SMSF. We raise this issue where relevant and assist our clients in understanding the alternatives available.

Another matter that clients are frequently concerned about is the tax consequences of holding insurances within a SMSF – whether death, total and permanent disability or trauma. There are at least two issues of course – whether the premiums are tax deductible within the SMSF, and whether the lump sum payments are taxable within the SMSF. The interaction between holding such insurances in a SMSF and meeting the applicable condition of release so that the funds can be accessed is also a relevant matter and requires a special understanding in circumstances where clients see us for not only their estate planning needs but also their business succession issues. We can clarify any misapprehensions of our clients in relation to the best way to hold their insurances where asked to do so.

Please call 02 9570 7844 for an obligation free discussion.