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Change of Trustee

DescriptionSoftcopy *
Change of Trustee of an SMSF$350
* Add $75 for hard copy

SMSF Appointment and Resignation of Trustee

The appointment or resignation of a trustee must be carefully documented to ensure there are no adverse risks or penalties. Previously, many people considered a change of trustee a simple exercise that was done by trustee minutes. However, the relevant provisions of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) (‘SISA’) has increased the complexity.

If a person is being admitted as a member of an SMSF that has individual trustees, that person must generally be appointed as a trustee immediately before being admitted as a member to comply with the member/trustee rules in s 17A of the SISA. If the SMSF has a corporate trustee, the person must generally be appointed as a director of the corporate trustee immediately before being admitted as a member to comply with s 17A.

DBA strongly recommends that a change of trustee be documented by way of a deed. There are various conditions that must be satisfied before admitting a trustee and certain documents that must be completed, for example:

  • complying with the requirements in the SMSF’s trust deed;
  • obtaining relevant consents; and
  • completing relevant ATO declarations and notifications.

DBA’s change of trustee deed includes a release of the existing trustee(s) from any legal risks after their resignation. The new trustee(s) are only liable for legal issues arising after their date of appointment.

For a detailed article on change of trustee, click here.

The DBA change of trustee package provides the necessary documents to change the trustee of an SMSF:

  • Letter
  • Checklist of items to complete
  • Trustee resolutions
  • Change of trustee memo
  • Deeds of change of trustee
  • Links to relevant ATO forms
  • Notifications to relevant parties.

Properly prepared change of trustee documentation can be critical in disputes arising upon divorce, ATO audit or death of a trustee/member. This was illustrated in the recent case of Katz v Grossman where the validity of the appointment of two trustees was challenged.

If you are a new trustee and would like more information on keeping comprehensive trustee minutes and resolutions, please refer to our Trustee Compliance Kit.

Corporate Trustees of SMSFs

If you are changing trustees, you should consider the advantages of a corporate trustee over individual trustees.

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