When is a Superannuation “Death Benefit” not a Death Benefit?

The question in the headline is of major significance in estate planning. As readers are aware, the taxable component of a death benefit paid to a person who is not the deceased’s death benefits dependant, as defined in the ITAA 97 (an “ITAA Dependant”) is subject to tax at up to 17%, including the Medicare levy. In contrast, a member benefit is non-assessable, non-exempt income when paid to...

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Challenging a Superannuation Death Benefits Payout

by Stephen Gethin | Feb 03, 2020

Everyone is familiar with the potential to challenge a will if they feel they were unfairly left out. With many people now dying with large balances in superannuation, the number of court challenges to death benefit payouts will increase dramatically in coming years. Actions for negligence against advisors for leaving open the potential for these challenges will also markedly increase.

It is...

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Leasing new business premises? DON’T sign that Offer to Lease…

by Stephen Gethin | Jan 27, 2020 | Blog, Lease, Business

When selecting new leased premises, tenants must be careful of two critical issues in the ‘Offer to Lease’ (OTL). The commercial rental market is now very tenant-favoured in many areas of Perth. Many tenants think they have done a great job by beating the landlord down on rent and negotiating a large fit-out contribution or a long rent-free period. Feeling satisfied with themselves, they then...

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Unscrambling the nest egg: Removing an SMSF member on relationship breakdown

by Stephen Gethin | Dec 17, 2019
It is normally too late to implement this strategy when a relationship separation occurs. The framework to enable a smooth SMSF separation on a relationship breakdown should be put in place when the fund is set up.

A separating couple's respective interests in an SMSF will often be adjusted by a binding financial agreement or a Family Court order*. These things can take time, however. In the...

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When should you update your Will?

by Stephen Gethin | Oct 17, 2019 | Blog

While no list can capture every scenario where changing your will would be desirable, the list below covers most cases where updating your will would be advisable, in addition to the obvious one: if it no longer reflects your wishes.

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Standing up to the ATO: Fortuna Advisory Group wins $0.5 million tax objection

by Stephen Gethin | Aug 13, 2019 | Blog, News

Fortuna Accountants & Business Advisors along with Fortuna Legal combined to successfully object to an amended assessment issued by the ATO which sought to impose additional tax, penalties and loss denials on a restaurant group of over $500,000.

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Passing of Superannuation after death

by Stephen Gethin | Apr 01, 2019 | Blog

The critical objective of estate planning is to ensure that the right people get your assets after you pass away. Traditionally this is done via a Will; however, it is now common for a third or more of a family’s wealth to be in superannuation, which is not automatically covered by your will.

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What happens if a person dies without a Will?

by Stephen Gethin | Jan 21, 2019 | Blog

It is a topic that no one likes to think about, but the importance of making a proper Will cannot be emphasised enough.

If a person dies without leaving a Will this is known as dying “intestate”. This can also happen if a person has a will, but the Will is invalid because, for example they did not have proper mental capacity or if the formal requirements for a valid will have not been met.

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Wills and Superannuation Death Benefits: A Disconnect in Many Estate Plans

by Stephen Gethin | Aug 30, 2016 | Blog

Passing on super requires the same care as making wills

The key objective of estate planning is to ensure that the right people get your assets after you pass away. Traditionally this was done via a will. It is now common for a third or more of a family’s wealth to be in superannuation, however, which is not automatically covered by their wills.

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