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Trustees still in the dark on SMSF estate planning

Miranda Brownlee
05 March 2015 — 1 minute read

A large number of SMSF trustees are still under the misapprehension that their SMSF assets are covered under their will, even those receiving professional advice, according to MLC.

MLC Advice Solutions national manager of SMSF advice Peter Hogan said the belief that super automatically forms part of your estate remains one of the biggest misconceptions among clients.

“I do a lot of talks to clients of financial planners and the first thing I always ask them is to raise their hand if they think their super automatically goes to their estate on their death and 98 per cent will put their hand up,” he said.


“They’re quite surprised to learn that in fact it doesn’t form part of their estate unless they have a binding nomination directing it to their estate.”

Ian Glenister, principal of Glenister & Co Superannuation and Estate Planning Lawyers also agrees there is still a common misconception among SMSF trustees that super automatically forms one of their assets.

“The members of the SMSF think they can make a provision in their estate will for the payment of their super benefits,” said Mr Glenister.

SMSF trustees he said, particularly those in individual trustee structures, think of super as an asset similar to money in the bank.

“[They think] ‘It’s got to be mine because it’s in my name’,” he said.

“The concept of trusts and trust assets are still foreign to the majority of the general public.”

Miranda Brownlee

Miranda Brownlee


Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.

Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years. 

Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.

You can email Miranda on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Trustees still in the dark on SMSF estate planning
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