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Use our law firm direct and get a licensed & PI insured service
Our trust deed offerings have assurance to the deed user that the deed preparer is licensed under local laws:
- to prepare trust deeds; and
- to professionally complete a trust deed and related documents with the information provided by the trustee;
where the work to produce the trust deed and related documents is actually done by a practising lawyer and is thus covered by professional indemnity insurance. It is compulsory for Australian practising lawyers to hold PI insurance so professional indemnity insurance cover for their work can be verified by checking practice details over the internet.
Our SMSF trust deed offering addresses the dual unlicensed problem: where accountants (who, on the demise of the “accountant’s exemption” are unlicensed to assist with SMSF setups from 1 July 2016) use providers of SMSF legal documents without these user protections. A significant proportion of SMSF document providers, including prominent providers, on the internet are unlicensed and offer no indemnity insurance cover on their legal documents services.
About our SMSF trust deed
There are many lawyers and businesses that offer SMSF documents. Not so common are lawyers who offer SMSF trust deeds as a premium product and who are personally across and responsible for that development. The provisions of our SMSF trust deed template address:
- rules and practicalities that apply to SMSFs, with a focus on rules of current importance to SMSFs and on potentially contentious aspects for SMSFs; and
- the contemporary obligations of a SMSF trustee – for instance, employer sponsored and allocated pension requirements, which feature prominently in many SMSF trust deeds still in circulation, including those offered by lawyers, are now marginal/transitional matters.
What’s in and out?
In our view a SMSF trust deed should include key flexibilities and avoid being overly prescriptive. Our SMSF trust deed and accompanying documents reflect:
- trustee capacities to release contributions or to hold them on separate trust given the step up in the regulation of contributions to superannuation funds;
Adaptability to law changes
- a carefully limited “deeming” provision so that the SMSF trust deed is adaptable to changes in the law which are not reflected in the SMSF trust deed – these are common, and overly relied on, but often not well implemented in SMSF deed offerings;
- a full and consistent guidance addressing the requirements for paying benefits on the meeting of each of the allowable conditions of releasing benefits from superannuation funds;
- restraint ensuring that the vesting standard for minimum benefits is observed – the inclusion of a forfeiture provision that can potentially apply to a vested benefit often gives away that a SMSF trust deed has not observed this standard;
- sufficient description and pathway to implement each kind of SMSF pension permitted under current regulations;
Smart referencing to law
- deliberative references to the SIS Act and regulations on the key aspects of running a SMSF and in contexts where those references are needed by the SMSF trustee to understand what they are doing;
Conversion of kind of fund
- capability to convert the SMSF to another kind of superannuation fund such as a small APRA fund when that might become an imperative for members;
Method to implement
- inclusion of client details so that the SMSF trust deed can be readily completed and implemented as the SMSF trust deed of the SMSF with a project plan for bringing the documents into effect;
Succession and autonomy of trustees
- robust successor trustee directives and a “stake principle”, under which members exercise control of the fund in proportion to the level of benefits held in the fund, are implemented by default;
Interaction with licensed financial advice
- tie in to licensed financial advice received by members of the proposed SMSF relating to planned investments and insurance through the process of setup of the SMSF; and
- that it is incumbent on SMSF members to comply with the SMSF trust deed and not to charge or impede their interest.
What our legal documents packages look like
Our template documents produce legal documents with client circumstances fully integrated into the documents to produce a high quality finish.
How our legal documents, including our SMSF trust deed package, is produced
We use and code in HotDocs document assembly software (see http://www.hotdocs.com/ and Basha – HotDocs under the hood) to automate the systemic inclusion of client information into a complete document package. We fulfil in pdf format.
Intelligent online ordering of legal documents
We have an interactive form for the SMSF trust deed and accompanying documents setup (i.e. questions change depending on answers given) in a manner similar to forms used when ordering insurance products online.
About the trust deed and legal documents template developer
The SMSF trust deed templates have been fully developed by David Garde, tax lawyer, of The Tax Objection. David has been a tax lawyer:
- in practice in Victoria and New South Wales for thirty years;
- is an accredited specialist in taxation law (Victoria from 1999, New South Wales from 2002)
- has significant experience in legal practices where SMSF legal services were a major area of practice.