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Documentation

Greater emphasis now on document providers

The proposed changes to the superannuation system contained in this year’s federal budget mean SMSF advisers and trustees need to be more conscious of document providers’ ability to adapt and comply with the new rules, according to a specialist legal firm.

“If you’re buying a trust deed today, all of these changes could render that deed investment defunct in a couple of months,” DBA Lawyers director Daniel Butler said at his company’s latest strategy seminar in Sydney.

“So pension documents need to be very flexible and deed documents need to be very flexible.”

Butler suggested advisers and trustees needed to be sure the document providers they used had a facility to provide an updated deed on a regular basis, such as a yearly review.

“It’s like a warranty. When you buy a phone you get the warranty for three years, so you really don’t want to be buying documents from a document provider who doesn’t have the ability to roll out the next updated set of documents at a very affordable cost,” he warned.

He pointed out adapting to the changes was a process many document providers were already undertaking.

“We’re already now writing our next deed for 1 July and we’re trying to contemplate all of these changes so we have the flex in there already,” he explained.

He identified estate planning as another area where documentation would become critically important in light of the budget measures.

“This ability to have the foresight that you are about to depart this earth and have some documents and succession in place is so much more important moving forward,” he said.

“So succession becomes much more important.”

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