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Meg on SMSFs: Why a trust deed is still important

Even though SMSF trust deeds are often generic nowadays and almost always easy to change, they’re still vital. They’re definitely not all the same so it’s important that SMSF trustees know what they’ve got.

Meg on SMSFs: Is a binding death benefit nomination worth it?

A binding death benefit nomination makes sense if you belong to an APRA super fund, yet how about if all of your super is in an SMSF? Here are the pros and cons of having such a nomination in your SMSF.

Reform needed to allow donations from super to charity

Superannuation is a valuable investment vehicle and deciding the intended recipient of these funds in the event of death is crucial. Yet there's a significant limitation: super benefits can't be allocated to charities.

Are death bed benefit super withdrawals effective?

If a super benefit is withdrawn by a member over 65 or a retiree for super purposes, there is no tax. If it is paid to independent children, tax is 17%. So how do death bed benefit withdrawals work in super?

Nine rules to guide you to die with zero

Should you give your children their inheritance before you die? It's a thorny question asked more often as Baby Boomers in Australia grow older and die richer. Do they leave larger bequests or help buy the kids a home?

Watch out, it's not easy being the executor of an estate

An actuary warns of the frustrations he experienced as executor of his brother's will, a role he expected to be straightforward. He knew super does not automatically form part of an estate but there are traps for all to learn.

Thou shalt not covet … thy neighbour’s house

Do what you want with your estate but there can be challenges in a court. Older people are vulnerable and they can tell people what they want to hear, but carers can also be successful over family beneficiaries.

Top three ways an SMA helps optimise tax

Simpler tax arrangements for investments are a key benefit of separately managed accounts, where after-tax outcomes vary from other vehicles such as managed funds and direct equities.

How 'bucket companies' work in family trusts

Some of our readers have said family trusts have little merit because of the tight limits on the amount that can be distributed to children paying low tax rates. But the use of bucket companies drives many of the structures.

Strategies for avoiding the super 'death duty'

The 17% tax on the taxable component of superannuation paid to non-dependants upon death acts like a death duty, and it's worthwhile finding out how to avoid it using legal means.

Most estate planning for tax is inadequate

Many people are reluctant to plan financially for their death, and it's not simply a matter of passing money to heirs. Far more tax-effective techniques are available which can make inheritance simpler.

How a carer inherited an estate

Carers may have a legitimate claim to an estate even if the deceased suffered from dementia when making a subsequent will. The Court seeks to establish whether testamentary capacity was disabled.

Most viewed in recent weeks

16 ASX stocks to buy and hold forever

In his recent shareholder letter, Warren Buffett mentions several stocks he expects Berkshire Hathaway will own indefinitely, including Occidental Petroleum. We look at ASX stocks that investors could buy and hold forever.

The best strategy to build income for life

Owning quality, dividend-producing industrial shares is key to building a decent income stream. Here is an update on the long-term performance of industrial stocks against indices, listed property, and term deposits.

Are more taxes on super on the cards?

The Government's broken promise on tax cuts has prompted speculation about other promises that it may consider breaking. It's widely believed that super is lightly taxed and a prime candidate for special attention.

Lessons from the battery metals bust

The crash in lithium and nickel prices has left companies scrambling to cut production, billionaires red-faced, and investors wondering how a ‘sure thing’ went so wrong. There are plenty of lessons for everyone.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 545 with weekend update

It’s troubling that practical skills like investing aren’t taught at schools as it leaves our children ill-equipped to build wealth, and more vulnerable to bad advice. Here are some suggestions to address the issue.

  • 1 February 2024

For the younger generation, we need to get real on tax

The distortions in our tax system have been ignored for too long, and we're now paying the price. It's time Australia got real and addressed the problems to prevent an even greater intergenerational tragedy.

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