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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Substituting your SMSF when off-the-plan is off-the-rails

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Bob and Susan can’t afford to complete their off-the-plan purchase unless they use their super. Bob and Susan signed a contract and placed a deposit in their personal capacity some time ago to acquire an off-the-plan apartment which is now nearing completion. The bank has valued the property lower than the original contract sale price […]

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Is it possible to admit your child as a member to your SMSF?

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Bob and Barbara have recently established an SMSF with a corporate trustee and want their 17-year-old son, Ben, to join their SMSF.  Can Ben join? We often get asked by our clients who are contemplating establishing an SMSF whether they can admit a child member to their SMSF. While it is not uncommon to admit […]

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Loans under Division 7A and the ATO’s Safe Harbour guidelines

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A limited recourse loan by a member’s family trust to their SMSF might be a Division 7A loan.  Can the loan comply with all the rules if it is in fact both types of loan? A recent enquiry has allowed Townsends Law to visit the question of when will a loan be deemed as a […]

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The pitfalls of a homemade Will

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While homemade Wills and Do It Yourself Will kits may appear to be an ‘easier’, ‘timely’ and ‘cheaper’ alternative than instructing a lawyer to draft your Will the recent Victorian Supreme Court case of Re Hely; Application by Arbuthnot & Donaghue [2018] is a reminder of some of the pitfalls which may arise when a homemade Will […]

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Can you really disentitle a person from your Will?

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Does violence towards the deceased end the relative’s chances of a successful claim against the Will? It doesn’t matter what sort of ‘family’ unit you have – nuclear, blended or a step-family – family relationships can be challenging and complicated. It’s usually not until a testator has passed away that their estate becomes disputed and […]

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SMSF member limit to increase from four to six

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One of the key changes from this year’s budget is the Government’s proposal to increase the maximum permitted number of members in a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) from four to six. While this change will not come into effect till 1 July 2019 it’s worthwhile examining how this change may impact your superannuation fund in […]

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Which country, which will?

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The Victorian case of Re Tang [2017] looked at a raft of issues that arose when the deceased had assets in both Australia and China. The deceased was an Australian citizen who resided in China. Although, the majority of his personal estate was held in China the deceased did hold some personal assets in Australia. […]

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Borrowing by SMSFs is under attack

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Changes to APRA standards have moved the goal posts for SMSFs borrowing to buy real estate. The problem is we’re late in the second half. Acquiring property through a SMSF using borrowed money may be an attractive investment choice for many, however, with banks tightening their lending criteria on the insistence of The Australian Prudential […]

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Appointing a reversionary beneficiary

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We often get asked by clients, can a reversionary beneficiary be nominated after a pension has commenced? However, before nominating a reversionary beneficiary it is important to examine who can be nominated as a reversionary beneficiary. In order for a trustee to be able to pay a pension to a person nominated as a reversionary […]

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