Mid-tier firm flags reoccurring issues with trustee incapacity

One mid-tier firm has reminded practitioners of the dangers of leaving client conversations about incapacity too late, with around a third of SMSF trustees now over 65.

Founder of Haynes Knight Greg Hayes says there are still not enough SMSF practitioners taking a proactive approach in preparing clients for the potential of cognitive decline in older age.

“If you look at the statistics in the SMSF space, 54 per cent are over the age of 55 and around 30 per cent are over the age of 65,” Mr Hayes told SMSF Adviser.

Whilst age isn’t the only determinant, as people become older health issues do become an issue.

“If clients and their practitioners haven’t thought about this [beforehand] then there is a danger ... it’s after the event that you’re trying to resolve the problem,” Mr Hayes said.

“It’s always easier to resolve the problem in advance rather than after the event, but we all tend to do it the reverse way around.”

Mr Hayes said the issue of incapacity should be at the forefront of SMSF practitioners’ minds in order to increase the number of conversations they have with clients about the matter.

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