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Financial Planning

Planners win statutory declaration rights

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has secured recognition for financial planners and advisers as additional categories of people who are authorised to witness a commonwealth statutory declaration.

Under the new Statutory Declarations Regulations 2018, financial planners and advisers have been granted status to sign statutory declarations under commonwealth legislation.

The FPA said including planners and advisers on the witnessing list means clients will no longer have to find an authorised witness for legally verifying important documents, saving additional expense.

FPA chief executive Dante De Gori said: “This is a big win for consumers and the financial planning profession. Financial planners will join lawyers, medical practitioners and justices of the peace in their capacity to witness a statutory declaration.

“Financial planners help people simplify their finances and set achievable goals, particularly in relation to complex matters such as superannuation, tax planning, debt management, investments and retirement.

“We are delighted that our profession will be able to act as a trustworthy and authorised witness to the important documentation needed for a financial plan.”

The amendments come after the FPA’s input into the review of the Statutory Declarations Regulations 1993.

The amended regulations have now been legally registered with a start date of 18 September.

The Attorney-General’s Department will be updating the relevant section of its website and answering questions about the new regulations, including updates to the authorised witness list.

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