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SMSF succession planning

Date: 18 December 2018

There are many strategies that can be implemented during a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) member’s lifetime to increase certainty about what will happen to their super balance following their death.

A commonly used strategy is for the member to have a valid binding death benefit nomination (BDBN) in place, that directs their super balance to particular beneficiaries (provided they are dependants) or to their estate to be dealt with under the terms of their will. However, BDBNs may only be a partial solution.

Another commonly used strategy is for the SMSF to have a sole purpose corporate trustee rather than individual trustees. Following the death of an individual trustee, the SMSF deed determines who should be appointed as trustee in the deceased’s place. The deceased’s executors do not automatically become a trustee.

Further this corporate trustee strategy provides for enhanced long-term SMSF succession. What really matters is who controls the SMSF. The shareholders of the corporate trustee could gift their shares (and hence control of the corporate trustee) to their surviving spouse or children.

Roberts & Morrow can review your SMSF succession needs and ensure that when the time comes, your SMSF succession runs smoothly, effectively and as intended.

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