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Self-Managed Super Funds & Superannuation

In today’s world, the structure and management of self-managed superannuation funds is a fundamental part of effective estate planning. And it’s this area of expertise that makes Merthyr Law’s approach a little different to other law firms.

Our principal, Kieran Hoare, is an Accredited Self-Managed Super Fund Specialist Advisor™ and an expert in the field. So, when it comes to our Family Safe® estate and succession planning, you’re in good hands.

Ten years or so ago, your most valuable asset was probably your family home. Not the case anymore. Today, the lion’s share of your wealth is likely to be held within your Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF).

The problem with SMSF is that laws change so frequently many clients aren’t 100% sure what they are and aren’t allowed to do and what will happen with their superannuation when they die.

For example, you may have prepared a will five years ago that adequately covers your family home and investments outside of super. But that doesn’t mean it considers your superannuation savings, which could have a lasting impact on your family.

Merthyr Law offers the following SMSF solutions:

  • Business real property advice
  • Transferring property into and out of super without duty
  • In-house asset advice, including related trusts, Part 8 associates, loans
  • Using testamentary trusts to maximise a family’s after tax money
  • Gearing in the superannuation environment including limited recourse loans, instalment warrants, instalment contracts, joint venture agreements, non-related trusts and pre 1999 unit trusts
  • Other SMSF investment structures such as non related trusts, non geared trusts
  • Penalties
  • Residency
  • General rules and framework of the SIS legislation
  • Taxation within superannuation
  • Succession planning and strategies within superannuation including binding death nominations, re contribution strategies and use of enduring powers of attorney
  • Deed updates and reviews
  • Responding to audits and ATO and auditors
  • Strategies to pay out death benefits
  • Related party transactions
  • In house assets
  • In specie distributions and contributions
  • Helping overcome breaches and providing innovative solutions to audit problems
  • Defending ATO actions against SMSF trustees
  • Challenging death benefits, death benefit disputes
  • Administration of SMSFs following the death of a member
  • Non-arm’s length income
  • Property development in SMSFs
  • Regularly presenting seminars on the above topics

Our SMSF Team

Kieran Hoare
Kieran Hoare

ILP Director

Super Man

Emma Pradella
Emma Pradella



Jacqui Pead
Jacqui Pead

Trainee Solicitor

Princess Paralegal

Lauren Kettleton
Lauren Kettleton

Senior Associate

The Lifesaver

Have a question?


Should I use a corporate trustee or individual trustee for my SMSF?

We always recommend our client start their SMSF with a corporate trustee because: 

  • Better asset protection – don’t put your home at risk if the SMSF trustee gets into trouble 
  • Administrative Ease – Members will come and go. Without a corporate trustee, the trustee has to be changed every time the fund membership changes, which is time-consuming and costly
  • Companies allow more certain estate planning 
  • Companies allow a clear delineation between SMSF and personal assets, making complying with the super rules easier 
  • Most banks require a corporate trustee for borrowing

What happens if the members of an SMSF move overseas?

Without careful planning, the Fund may become non-complying, meaning half the value of the fund is lost to penalty tax. 

Seek advice early to ensure that the central management and control of the SMSF remains in Australia through effective use of EPAs and delegation. 

Read our Brochure to find out more.

How can I save on Death Benefits Tax in my SMSF when I die?

Death benefits tax (typically between 15% to 32% on all or some of the superannuation benefits).isn’t payable when your superannuation benefits are ultimately paid to your spouse, a child under 18, a dependent or someone in an interdependency relationship. 

But it is payable when it ends up with an adult child. 

One way to save on death benefits tax is withdrawing your super benefits before you pass away. Merthyr Law’s Deed contains a nifty feature allowing your loved ones to deem that your super benefits are paid out whilst you are alive by a simple phone call or email. 

Another way is to increase your non-taxable super benefits and decrease your taxable super benefits.  

Careful planning can help ensure your loved ones rather than the ATO receive your super. 

What is involved in an SMSF Estate Planning Review and what does it cost?

If you book in a meeting to have your SMSF planning reviewed, we can assist by:

  • Ensuring you understand what happens with your superannuation once you die;
  • Ensuring your superannuation savings are safe and end up with your loved ones as planned;
  • Ensuring that tax is minimised on your death;
  • Liaising with your accountant, financial planner or superannuation fund administrator about your SMSF estate planning;
  • Dealing with any issues that might be apparent to us now so there is less risk of problems and fights down the track;
  • Giving you the benefit and peace of mind of an Accredited SMSF Specialist AdvisorTM individually considering your circumstances;
  • Eliminating any surprises: should you wish us to implement further strategies or recommendations or receive written advice, these would be quoted to you, at the meeting.

Our fee for an initial meeting is $475.00 (plus GST).

To book an initial meeting with Kieran Hoare, Merthyr Law’s SMSF Specialist Advisor™ please call (07) 3029 1600.

What can happen to my SMSF benefits without the adequate planning?

  • Superannuation benefits may not ultimately end up with loved ones as planned.
  • Out-of-date superannuation deeds may not be compliant with new laws.
  • Out-of-date superannuation deeds may not allow tax effective strategies to be implemented.
  • People you want to take control of superannuation investments may not be able to do so.
  • The trustee may use their discretion to pay member benefits as they wish which may not be in accordance with your wishes.
  • It is not uncommon for superannuation benefits to be lost by the surviving spouse, lost under Family Court orders to a non-family member or under a Family Provision claim.
  • Wills often refer to Reasonable Benefit Limits
  • Tax of up to 30.5% can be payable on death benefits.
  • Assets inside their SMSF may need to be sold or transferred in order to pay out benefits, creating capital gains tax implications.
  • If you or your spouse are incapacitated, your fund may become non-compliant, possibly having significant adverse taxation consequences.
  • “Binding” death benefit nominations can be invalid, ineffective, or even worse, be binding but cause benefits to be ineffective for tax purposes or to be paid to a child going through bankruptcy.

To book an initial meeting with Kieran Hoare, Merthyr Law’s SMSF Specialist Advisor™ please call (07) 3029 1600

When should I review my SMSF Estate Plan?

  • Annually as part of your Merthyr Law Family Safe™ Program
  • At least every 2 years if over 50
  • At Least every 5 years if under 50
  • When there are major changes to superannuation laws
  • When SMSF investments change
  • When personal circumstances change

To book an initial meeting with Kieran Hoare, Merthyr Law’s SMSF Specialist Advisor™ please call (07) 3029 1600

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