A recent case highlights the importance of SMSF trustees exercising discretion to pay death benefits in good faith, with real and genuine consideration and in accordance with the purpose of the conferred power.
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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.
By understanding superannuation law and implementing the right structure, SMSF members can ensure their super is passed onto their heirs after death with a minimum of fuss.
SMSF trustees should understand the tax consequences when death benefits include insurance proceeds because it can vary greatly according to circumstances, and these should be planned for in advance.
Unlike the rest of a person’s estate assets, a will has no power over the decisions of trustees of a superannuation fund when it comes to the payment of a death benefit.
Transferring a death benefit pension can be complicated but new legislation from 1 July 2017 simplifies the process.
Falling into bankruptcy is rarely a planned event, and can leave little to start over. Recent court decisions provide confidence that when Plan A fails, superannuation is a good Plan B.
Superannuation death benefits paid to adult children can incur a heavy tax impost, but there are strategies available to avoid paying more tax than necessary. It’s not always possible to know when you’ll die.