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Discretionary trusts – variations and issues

Discretionary trusts are an extremely popular structuring and investment vehicle in Australia. In FY2016, there were around 850,000 trusts in Australia with assets of more than $3 trillion with one report predicting there could be more than a million trusts by 2022. In most Australian jurisdictions a discretionary trust can last up to 80 years (and in [read more]

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What to do about defects in SMSF deeds: a chain is only as strong as its weakest link

It is very common for an SMSF to be commenced by a deed of establishment. Then, when the governing rules need to be updated, this typically is done by way of a deed of variation. The deed of establishment, in conjunction with the deeds of variation including any change of trustee documents, are sometimes then [read more]

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SMSF deeds: how does your supplier rate?

While the provision of documents from non-qualified suppliers may appear to be a simple and low-cost approach, there are numerous risks involved for advisers and end-users. Introduction Most SMSF deeds are now probably supplied via non-qualified suppliers, with minimal lawyer input (eg the deed template may have had some input by a lawyer). This is [read more]

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Advantages of the DBA Lawyers SMSF deed (2021-22)

DBA Lawyers latest SMSF governing rules and related documents includes many value-added features. This article briefly explains why our SMSF documents are the best available. Recent changes to DBA Lawyers’ SMSF governing rules Our latest DBA Lawyers’ SMSF governing rules (version 2021-22) comes with the following upgrades: expanded Trustee investment powers in respect of any [read more]

DBA Lawyers’ Annual Update Service for SMSF deeds

DBA Lawyers’ Annual Update Service for keeping SMSF deeds up to date

Ongoing changes are constantly made to superannuation and tax laws, which demonstrates the importance and benefits of having an up to date SMSF deed. Each year on 1 July, our Annual Update Service subscribers are provided with the latest version of DBA Lawyers governing rules which incorporates all relevant legal changes including superannuation law, case [read more]

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Electronic execution of deeds — a convoluted ‘State’ of affairs

Introduction Traditionally, deeds were unable to be made electronically due to the common law requirement that a deed must be written on ‘paper, parchment or vellum’. With a global shift headed towards an ever-advancing technological world, the demand for the ability to make a deed electronically is on the rise. Unfortunately, the question as to [read more]

Close up of typewriter and Deed of trust

Hill v Zuda Pty Ltd [2021] WASCA 59 — how long can a BDBN last for in ALL Australian jurisdictions?

The Western Australian Court of Appeal recently handed down its decision in Hill v Zuda Pty Ltd [2021] WASCA 59. It provides a strong answer to the question of how long a binding death benefit nomination can last for in ALL Australian jurisdictions. Facts Ms Hill was the only child of Alec Kumar Sodhy (Deceased). [read more]

Close up of typewriter and Deed of trust

Variation powers — lessons from Re Owies Family Trust [2020] VSC 716

Key facts The case of Re Owies Family Trust [2020] VSC 716 (Owies) provides many lessons for trustees and advisers dealing with discretionary trusts. This article focuses on one key issue raised in Owies, being the limited variation power that did not allow for a number of purported variations. Owies involved a dispute between the [read more]

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G v G (No. 2) [2020] NSWSC 818 — implications for fiduciaries dealing with super

The recent New South Wales Supreme Court decision of G v G (No. 2) [2020] NSWSC 818 (G v G) provides important guidance on the limitations that apply to trustees and managers of protected estates in dealing with superannuation investments, including in relation to making super contributions and binding death benefit nominations (‘BDBNs’). In this [read more]

Electronic execution of deeds — is it here to stay?

Electronic execution of deeds — is it here to stay?

Introduction Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, legislators across the states and territories have been passing temporary legislation to allow for documents to be signed and witnessed using technology. At the date of this article, Victoria (‘Vic’), New South Wales (‘NSW’) and Queensland (‘QLD’) are still the only jurisdictions to make provision for deeds [read more]