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Trust deeds in the new SMSF world – Benefit payments and estate planning - Oct 2017

Your superannuation trust deed along with the superannuation laws form the governing rules that self managed super funds (SMSFs) needs to operate by. The introduction of the $1.6 million transfer balance cap (TBC) and new transition to retirement income stream (TRIS) rules are a ‘game changer’ for SMSFs when discussing benefit payments and estate planning. With the new super rules in effect as of 1 July 2017, now is the right time to review if your trust deed needs to be enhanced or amended to deal with the new approaches and strategies you may need to implement.

Basic “rules of thumb” when assessing mental capacity - Sep 2017

When solicitors are approached by people wishing to make a new will or amend an existing will, one of the principal considerations is whether or not a person actually has the legal and mental capacity to fully understand their intentions and actions. In this article we consider the basic “rules of thumb” when assessing mental capacity.

Superannuation death benefits and bankruptcy - Sep 2017

Cunningham (Trustee) v Gapes (Bankrupt) [2017] FCA 787

The Federal Court recently considered a summary judgement application by the trustee in bankruptcy regarding whether superannuation death benefits comprising part of the residuary estate of his late mother, to which he was entitled, was property divisible among his creditors. In this article we discuss the decision of the Federal Court.

Will claims – Queensland widens de facto relationship dependency claims - Jul 2017

Recent decisions of both the Supreme Court of Queensland and the Supreme Court of South Australia have provided different views upon the question of dependency within de facto or domestic partner relationships.  In Queensland this has also been affected by recent legislative changes that will widen the class of potential claimants against the wills and estates of their existing or former domestic partners.  This may be contrasted with a recent decision of the Supreme Court of South Australia which took a more restrictive view of dependency.  In this edition of Wills Watch we consider those developments.

Will claims – South Australia comments on what is not a close domestic relationship - Jul 2017

M, S & Ors v The Public Trustee & Ors [2017] SASC 71.

The South Australian Supreme Court has considered whether a plaintiff is a domestic partner under the relevant legislation, notwithstanding that the length of the plaintiff’s relationship with the deceased was less than the prescribed period.

Superannuation year end planning for the 2016/17 financial year - Jun 2017

The end of the financial year always seems to crop up faster than it should.  Given the impending July 2017 superannuation changes, being on top of your end of financial year planning is as important as it has ever been.
This year it is essential that you consider maximising the existing contribution limits for superannuation before they decrease on 1 July 2017.  While maximising contributions should be front of mind it is imperative you don’t forget your other obligations as trustee of your SMSF and ensure that your SMSF stays on track!


Will claims - Step-child of former domestic partner succeeds - Jun 2017

Scott-MacKenzie v Bail [2017] VSCA 108 (10 May 2017)

The Victorian Supreme Court has considered on appeal whether the expression “step-child” includes the child of a deceased domestic (or de-facto) partner.

Estate Litigation Costs. Supreme Court of SA gives a caution. - Nov 2016

Likely amendments to the Wills Act (SA) 1936 - Nov 2016

The South Australian Government proposes a bill to provide couples with an opportunity to legally register their relationship regardless of their sex or gender identity.

If passed, such an amendment should be considered by all financial planners, accountants and other trusted advisors whom may have affected clients.

Ms Katrine Hildyard, member of the Australia Labor Party has recently introduced the Relationship Register Bill to the South Australian Parliament. 

One of the motivating factors for the bill was due to the death of an English tourist earlier this year, Mr David Bulmer-Rizzi.  His death received considerable media coverage.

Stop the Press! Important Changes to Triple S Super Regulations - Jul 2016

Previously, members of Triple S Super have had no discretion to decide how they would like their superannuation funds to be paid upon their death.  Until recently, the legislation directed that upon the death of a member, their superannuation death benefit was paid to their spouse and in the event the member died without a spouse, the benefit would only then be paid to the member’s estate.

However, on 16 June 2016, changes to the Southern State Superannuation Regulations were gazetted to enable members of Triple S Super, Flexible Rollover Product investors and Income Stream investors to nominate their Legal Personal Representative as the beneficiary of their superannuation death benefit upon their death.  Partners Donna Benge and Rod Jones, and Associate Christina Flourentzou explain the changes.

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