Succession planning for private companies

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For those wanting to ensure that a particular family member becomes the director of a family company when the current director passes, it’s a minefield. So, you have a private company (that’s one with ‘Pty Ltd’ after its name). It might be the trustee of your family trust or your self-managed super fund or it

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Electronic company document execution

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Electronic execution of documents is bedevilling lawyers across the country because of the complex interweaving of various statutes and the common law. John and Mary have an SMSF and are the directors of the corporate trustee. They have recently changed the trustee of their SMSF from individual trustees to a corporate trustee. This was a

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Plan B: SMSF pension strategies during the COVID-19 recession

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Investment values have nosedived but an SMSF is still required to pay the minimum pension amount – Townsends Lawyers believe it’s time for Plan B. Retirement is supposed to be the time when a person enjoys their hard-earned savings, i.e. superannuation. However when the value of investments made by the SMSF in the financial markets

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SMSFs selling geared equities which the Fund borrowed to buy

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If your SMSF can’t hold on any longer and must sell a parcel of shares or units which it borrowed to purchase, there are compliance issues which must be remembered, pandemic or no pandemic. The pandemic is threatening the health of people as well as the economy. The circumstances might provoke trustees to rush into

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What trustees need to consider in closing an SMSF

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What do trustees need to consider when winding up an SMSF? Mary is the sole member and one of two individual trustees of her SMSF – the other being her daughter. Mary’s health is starting to deteriorate and she no longer wishes to run the fund in the future. She now wishes to wind up

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Who pays stay-at-home employees if they won’t get JobKeeper?

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If the Federal Government orders people to stay home under Biosecurity Alert, do employers need to pay employees? For those businesses that don’t qualify for JobKeeper payments, this article points out some interesting situations regarding employees in the current crisis. Ah COVID-19, scourge of toilet paper and other essential household supplies. Whilst mainstream media has

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Super splitting is more than agreement between the parties

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When the Family Court orders are finalised, the parties might think that it’s all over, but when it comes to super-splitting there’s considerably more to do. With one in three marriages in Australia likely to end in divorce, the splitting of interests in a Self-Managed Super Fund has raised a number of questions. Under the

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Overcoming Asian reluctance to estate planning

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Migrants or permanent residents in Australia who have backgrounds from Asia are often very averse to discussing estate planning.  There are a number of time-honoured cultural reasons for that, but Jonathan See looks at whether they are still relevant. Chang and his wife, Ming, migrated from China to Australia in 1975 with little money in

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Do bushfires + financial hardship = early access to your super?

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Given all the talk about the dreadful bush fires you’d be forgiven for thinking victims could access their super to help with their recovery.  Think again, as Elizabeth Wang reports. Robert and Mary have been affected by the devastating bushfires. They are struggling financially and are wondering whether it is possible to withdraw some of

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New law clarifies minor’s tax on testamentary trust income

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A minor pays tax at adult marginal rates on income received from a testamentary trust. The new law seeks to stop non-estate assets making their way into those trusts in order to increase that income and access those marginal rates. In the 2018-19 Budget, the Government announced that it will implement an integrity measure to

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