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April 2018

The Commission’s ‘Reality’ is Not Real
“ witch hunt - an intensive effort to discover and expose disloyalty, subversion, dishonesty, or the like, usually based on slight, doubtful, or irrelevant evidence” – dictionary.com

Financial planners in this country are copping a kicking that they just don’t deserve. Having watched the Royal Commission dish it out, and then read the media’s ‘outrage’, I smell a witch hunt and I simply have to point out some things which seem to have been missed in all the “courtroom drama”.


March 2017

March 2017 Media Coverage
14 Articles from various publications

Low take-up tipped for new government retirement initiatives - SMSF Adviser
The innovative income stream products covered by the government’s draft regulations are expected to attract little attention, with retirees likely to be deterred by the lock-in clauses of these products, according to one lawyer.

Shedding light on the ATO’s new compliance approach - Chris Hocking Strategies
ATO altered its approach in encouraging trustee compliance by issuing non-compulsory guidelines.

Proper planning is always key to a succession and estate plan - Chris Hocking Strategies
Good estate planning is not only about the Will but in the detailed planning that goes into the other aspects of the estate to achieve the best outcome for your loved ones.

SMSF law firm introduces estate planning course - SMSF Adviser
Townsends Business & Corporate Lawyers has launched an estate planning course for advisers in response to the growing demand for advice regarding inter-generational wealth transfer.

Australia badly needs a national protocol for e-signatures - Self Managed Super Magazine
SMSFs have the ability to invest in a range of assets but what about gold?

Advisers preparing to meet the growing demands in estate planning - Chris Hocking Strategies
A learning approach that teaches advisers to ‘think estate planning’. SUPERCentral releases new course for advisers to confidently meet the needs of the inter-generational wealth transfer demand.

Creditor of custodian enforces debt against assets transferred to SMSF. [2016] NSWSC 1767 - Chris Hocking Strategies
SMSFs transferring an asset held by a custodian/bare trustee to the SMSF will not defeat the rights of the creditors.

Australia badly needs a national protocol for e-signatures - Professional Planner
The finance sector and financial advisers would greatly benefit if laws relating to electronic signatures were harmonised across the country.


February 2017

February 2017 Media Coverage
10 Articles from various publications

Think of yourself first and you and the kids will be better off - Sunday Telegraph
Generous Grandparents who give their children or grandchildren a financial helping hand need to ensure they don't leave themselves short in retirement.

Electronic signatures: the cases have begun - Chris Hocking Strategies
Using electronic signatures seems efficient/convenient but must be balanced against the need to protect and treat electronic signatures as if they were a real signature.

Advisers get estate planning support tool - Self Managed Super Magazine
A leading superannuation law firm has released a support tool to assist advisers adapt their estate planning strategies to the legislative changes contained in the recently passed Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Bill 2016.

The Fair and Sustainable Superannuation amendments will soon be upon us… but what to do next? - Chris Hocking Strategies
SUPERCentral has produced a comprehensive Pre-30 June ‘To-Do’ Checklist for advisers and accountants.

Court holds non-lapsing BDBN not binding due to subsequent occurrence of disqualifying event: [2017] NSWSC 45 - Chris Hocking Strategies
An application by the Trustee of a public offer fund that a non-lapsing BDBN made by a member of the fund was not binding on the Trustee due to the subsequent occurrence of a disqualifying event has been upheld by the NSWSC.

Dealing with legal documents that are wrong- Undoing something which shouldn’t have been down - Chris Hocking Strategies
It is important that before proposed transactions are entered into, appropriate legal and financial advice is sought. But if it's not, then comes the job of undoing that which should not have been done.

What constitutes good estate planning? - Chris Hocking Strategies
Good estate planning comes through a clear process for gathering relevant data, asking the right questions and building the best outcome for a family to plan for the future.

January 2017

January 2017 Media Coverage
10 Articles from various publications

Who should be the Appointer of a family trust? - Adviservoice
When completing an instruction form for arranging a new family trust for a client, it is very likely that the form will ask the question – Who do you want to be the “Appointor” of the trust?

Can a Court override your right to decide whether or not to receive medical treatment? - Chris Hocking Strategies
The presumption is that an individual has mental capacity to consent to or refuse medical treatment unless the person claiming otherwise can prove it

Selection of appointor crucial - Self Managed Super Magazine
Great care must be taken with who is chosen as the appointor of a new family trust as they are often considered to be the real power behind and ultimate controller of the trust, according to a superannuation and estate planning legal expert.

Five new year’s resolutions for your family - Self Managed Super Magazine
Survived the silly season, have we? Great. And made some new year’s resolutions? Even better. But just how important, useful and practical are those resolutions?

Can you still bring forward your non-concessional cap - Nestegg
New rules regarding non-concessional super contributions mean Australians need to be across current legislation to avoid landing in hot water.

Who should be the Appointer of a family trust? - Chris Hocking Strategies
When completing an instruction form for arranging a new family trust for a client, it is very likely that the form will ask the question – Who do you want to be the “Appointor” of the trust?

New rules about non-concessional super contributions - Chris Hocking Strategies
The introduction of the new $1.6M cap has changed the game for members wanting to make contributions in advance - so-called 'bring forward' contributions.

What is a ‘fixed trust’ and why do I need to know? - Chris Hocking Strategies
Whether a trust is a fixed trust or not has significant taxation implications.

How do you ‘Will’ assets held by a family trust? - Chris Hocking Strategies
One of the primary appeals of family trusts is the flexibility which that structure allows in distributions of income and capital: family and related entities can be assisted as the trustees see fit.


December 2016

Bros, sisters, mums and dads ….. And cousins? - Chris Hocking Strategies
It is important to be aware of what your fund can and cannot do, and with whom. In this article we take a look at when a (seemingly obvious) relative or related party is in fact not a relative or related party after all.


November 2016

What is a Child Pension? - SUPERCentral News
A child pension is simply a pension payable from a deceased member’s superannuation interest which is payable to a beneficiary who is under age 18, or aged between 18 and 25 who is financially dependent upon the deceased member or who is permanently incapacitated.

A step-by-step guide to winding up your SMSF - Nestegg
Winding up an SMSF may occur for a number of reasons, but what needs to be done and what documents need to be prepared?

Who the Heck is a Tax Dependant? - Chris Hocking Strategies
This question is highly relevant when considering tax-effective estate planning for superannuation death benefits. Question of tax dependency continues to perplex clients, advisers, lawyers and the tribunals alike.

The most important thing you (probably) didn’t know you could do with your Will - Chris Hocking Strategies
Although a surviving parent will (generally) have the right to care for their child, another ‘interested’ person is able to make an application for guardianship - decision is then left to the Family Court

A 12-month grace period now proposed for reversionary pensions before pension counted for $1.6m transfer cap: previously a six month period - Chris Hocking Strategies
One change the Government has made in the “Fair and Sustainable” Bill (compared to the Exposure Draft) – is that reversionary pensions will now be “counted” for the purposes of the  $1.6m pension transfer cap  12 months after the pension transfers.

What is the pension transfer balance cap and how does it operate? - Nestegg
The government has released a string of proposed changes to super – including amendments to the pensions transfer cap – over the last few months. But what does it mean for you?

Court finds AAT misapplied special circumstances test:  excess contributions tax decision returned to Tribunal for reconsideration - Chris Hocking Strategies
The Full Federal Court has held that the Administrative Appeals Tribunal misapplied the “special circumstances” test.

Guardians: can they be removed by the court? - Chris Hocking Strategies
First such case in WA Supreme Court recently. A guardian of a trust is an office created by the trust deed upon which various powers are conferred: such as the power to appoint or remove a trustee, the power to consent to any trust distributions, or even the power to approve or direct the investment policy of the trust.

Pension transfer balance cap - FAQs - Chris Hocking Strategies
What does the pension transfer balance cap mean for new and current account based pensions and transition to retirement pensions?

What is the pension transfer balance cap and how does it operate? - Chris Hocking Strategies
In late September, the government released the second tranche of proposed superannuation changes, which covers the pension transfer balance cap, concessional contribution changes, catch up concessional contributions and the removal of the earnings tax exemption for transition to retirement pensions.  This article will focus on issues surrounding the pension transfer cap.


October 2016

What is the taxpayer’s personal transfer cap? - Chris Hocking Strategies
The personal transfer cap of a taxpayer is the transfer cap which applies to the financial year in which the taxpayer first commences a pension to which the earnings tax exemption applies.

September 2016

SMSFundamentals: Loan vs Gift: The Right Way To Help Out Your Kids - FNArena News
Loan vs Gift – the right way to help out your kids. Much better option is to only provide monies to the children by way of loan.

Three-year bring forward rules will be retained - Chris Hocking Strategies
The ability to bring forward up to 3 years’ worth of non-concessional contributions will be retained.  The current requirement that taxpayers be less than age 65 at any time during the first year of the 3 year bring forward period will be maintained.

Reversionary pensions predicted to escape $1.6m transfer cap - SMSF Adviser
SMSF practitioners may want to consider changing death benefit nominations to reversionary pensions for their clients’ estate planning, amid speculation that the $1.6 million pension transfer cap might not apply to reversionary pensions.

Can your SMSF buy your business? - Chris Hocking Strategies
"I am the sole director of my private trading company and I also own the premises from which my business is being run. Can my SMSF acquire the premises and the shares in the company from me?" This question comes up regularly so let’s split it into two parts before answering it.

Mutual wills deed viable for step-families - Self Managed Super Magazine
A specialist law firm has recommended a mutual wills agreement as one potential solution for clients that have step-family estate planning circumstances.

AAT holds that pre 1 Jan 15 pension has lost its grandfathered incomes test status as there was a break in income support payment: 2016 AATA 691 - Chris Hocking Strategies
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has upheld the decision that a pre-1 January 2015 account-based pension had lost its grandfathered status under the incomes test.

I want to help my children financially, what should I be wary of? - Nestegg
If you’re looking to give your kids a helping hand in the financial department, it pays to do it right.

Single, industry-wide EDR scheme canvassed - Money Management
A single external disputes resolution scheme replacing the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Credit Industry Ombudsman (CIO), and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) has been formally placed on the table as part of the Government's review of the financial system external dispute resolution framework.

Are “Mutual Wills” the Silver Bullet for Step-Family Estate Planning? - Chris Hocking Strategies
Temptation for the surviving spouse to change the Will - How can departures from the original intent of the couple be prevented?

Conflict can exist between not-for-profit trustees and members - Professional Planner
What to do when a trustee of a large industry funds considers that up to 40 amendments to its trust deed may be invalid?  Naturally make an application to South Australian Supreme Court for a court approved variation to the trust deed to, effectively, implement the changes sought to have been made by the various amendment deeds. The trustee is Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Ltd and the industry fund is the REST Fund.

Keep track of your own superannuation contribution records - AFR
An important task for anyone looking to make contributions to super this year, especially after-tax amounts, will be to double check that their entitlements comply with the governme