Financial Planning

New adviser body imminent

SMSF industry body

SMSF practitioners providing specialised advice covering three specific issues will soon have a new industry body to represent and support them.

A new industry body, currently in its development stages, is set to be launched in the new year with the purpose of serving SMSF practitioners involved in the delivery of three specific financial advice areas.

The new body will be called the Succession, Asset Protection, and Estate Planning Advisers Association (SAPEPAA) and is being established jointly by Lightyear Docs founder Grant Abbott and Lightyear Docs group director Michael Jeffries.

The initiative has come about from Abbott’s and Jefferies’ identification that advice regarding the aforementioned three areas has until now been delivered in a silo like manner in the SMSF sector leading to their recognition for a more coordinated approach to be achieved by an overarching industry body.

“To date when we have a look at those three key areas, succession, asset protection, and estate planning, which has many, many niches underneath it, there’s never been anyone comprehensively doing any of that,” Abbott noted.

“[For example] we tend to go to our lawyers for our estate planning [and] asset protection is something that accountants tend to do,” he added.

“It’s vital, I feel, to really change Australia…[to have] someone there from a high level looking at the total succession, asset protection and estate planning and for that we need to have specialist advisers who are accredited, and more importantly, are backed by a reputable, forward thinking advisers’ association in that regard.”

SAPEPAA is now in the process of forming working groups to address critical elements of the organisation such as rules and guidelines, continued professional development activities and the specialist accreditation.

“So far we’ve had very strong interest [from practitioners]. I’ve got a list of about 30 people who are interested in being part of a working group or various working groups and in addition to that we’ve got at least 50 if not more people who have shown interest in becoming foundation members,” Jeffries revealed.

The official launch of the association is set for March 2021.

“This is a really good exciting opportunity and I don’t see the silo mentality we had before, that you’re a financial planner or accountant, [working] anymore,” Abbott concluded.

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