Accounting, Financial Planning, Investments

Family SMSF advice now an elite specialist field

Family SMSF structures, which can be bloodline, blended or multigenerational, have become an elite specialisation and require an additional level of understanding from advisers, according to a sector expert.

I Love SMSF chief executive Grant Abbott told a webinar on family SMSFs today while most of the education advisers undertake is at a general Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level 6 accreditation, advising on family SMSF structures would require an AQF level 8 or 9 accreditation.

“If you’re a family SMSF adviser, you are now the elite of the elite,” Abbott said.

“You might know your SMSFs, but you certainly have to go to that next level to understand how that interplay between an SMSF and having multi-member funds and multigenerational funds play out.”

He also said advisers should treat family members as little member pods and should design different, customised investment strategies for each member, depending on their circumstances and life stages.

“If you’re running a pooled investment strategy, you simply say it’s a pooled investment strategy for the fund,” he noted.

“But that doesn’t make sense because if we’ve got multigenerational members, even for a member themselves who are pension members who have got an account-based pension and a retirement accumulation account because they’re over their transfer balance accounts, you shouldn’t be running the same investment strategy.”

He also warned if documents such as wills, binding death benefit nominations, deeds and enduring powers of attorney sit outside the family SMSF, there is a possibility of that becoming an issue.

“What we’re going to do is we’re bringing everything in together in this family [SMSF],” he said.

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