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ATO guidance on managing trust distributions

Overview The taxation of trusts continues to be an area of scrutiny for the ATO. The ATO has released a webpage titled ‘Trust distributions done right’ that provides guidance to practitioners on how to prepare for year-end trust distributions. The webpage (QC 101752) can be found here. Clearly, the ATO is concerned with trustees and [read more]


Penalties on SMSF trustees to increase substantially: time to change to a corporate trustee

Introduction With the penalty unit increasing from $313 to $330 in proposed legislation, SMSFs need to be extremely careful as this results in most administrative penalties increasing from $16,500 (ie, 60 penalty units x $275) to $19,800 (ie, 60 penalty units x $330). This follows the increase from $275 to $313 that already occurred on [read more]


Court confirms capacity to make a BDBN: van Camp v Bellahealth Pty Ltd [2024] NSWSC 7

The recent NSW Supreme Court decision of van Camp v Bellahealth Pty Ltd [2024] NSWSC 7 (22 January 2024) (van Camp v Bellahealth) provides important lessons for advisers when considering a person’s capacity to make a BDBN. It also reinforces the value of keeping good records and file notes. Facts Dr Nespolon was the sole [read more]


SMSF succession

For many Australians, superannuation is a significant asset especially if a self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) is involved. However, despite this, many do not plan ahead for what happens to their superannuation upon their loss of capacity or death. We recommend that every SMSF member should develop a succession plan to ensure there is a [read more]

Idea, plan, action, success. List with the check marks. Business strategy: idea, plan, action, success. Red pencil and a checklist with red marks. 3D Illustration

SMSF Succession Diagnostic Service

Many SMSF members do not plan ahead in relation to what is to happen with their superannuation upon loss of capacity, death or other relevant life events. Indeed, in DBA Lawyers’ experience, a considerable proportion of SMSFs have outdated, inappropriate or no succession plans in place. Unfortunately, such lack of planning can give rise to [read more]

Changing SMSF trustees — why advisers should be more alert to the tips and traps

Change of SMSF trustees can easily be messed up

This article examines some of the key issues that can arise when change of trustee documents are not properly completed, and by the right people using quality document suppliers. What happens if a change of trustee is not properly completed? A change of trustee requires compliance with the provisions in the fund’s governing rules and [read more]

Deed of Trust

Lost deed case – Lawyer gives expert evidence on likely terms of missing trust deed

The case of Northgate Park v Floyd [2022] VSC 783 (Northgate Park) provides an interesting development in how courts may approach the issue of a lost trust deed. Northgate Park represents a less strict approach to determining the terms of a trust where a deed is lost. Facts Northgate Park resulted out of other litigation [read more]


Re Rentis Pty Ltd [2023] QSC 252 — Court considers attorney power to ‘renew’ a BDBN

The case of Re Rentis Pty Ltd [2023] QSC 252 (Re Rentis) provides a helpful interpretation of an attorney’s powers to make a binding death benefit nomination (BDBN). This case examines the meaning of a term often found in enduring powers of attorney (EPA) and provides an expansive view of an attorney’s powers to make [read more]