June 14, 2024

Lost or Unsigned Trust Deeds? Here’s How to Handle Them

We’ve got some exciting news for you. The latest update on the Smarter SMSF platform introduces a fantastic new feature called Smarter Legal Review (SLR). This feature is a game-changer, allowing you to get top-notch legal advice from the super-experienced team at Hill Legal. Led by Chris Hill, a principal lawyer and accredited specialist SMSF adviser with over 15 years of experience in superannuation law, this team knows their stuff.

What Can You Do with This New Feature?

For starters, you can fix basic errors in trust deeds and get your deed chains reviewed to ensure they’re solid against any challenges. There’s also a bespoke review option for those trickier superannuation law and trust deed questions.

Common Issues with Executed Documents

One common issue we’ve found is users not having an executed version of a document. This can be a real headache because institutions often won’t accept unsigned documents, and courts might question their validity if challenged. This could lead to a resulting trust being declared or a challenger having a valid claim, which could mean hefty tax or financial costs for you or your clients.

How Hill Legal Can Help

But don’t worry! If you’ve got an unsigned or lost deed or superannuation document, Hill Legal can help. They usually recommend a Deed of Adoption and Confirmation. This deed can provide peace of mind by confirming that the document should be binding or reflect the current position of the parties involved. So, if the unsigned or missing document is ever questioned, you’ve got something to show.

Steps to Prepare a Deed of Adoption and Confirmation

To get this deed prepared, you’ll need to verify that you’ve done an extensive search for the signed or missing document. Check with all relevant institutions, members, advisers, or anyone else who might have a copy. Then, provide any other evidence that proves the existence of the deed to Hill Legal, and they’ll take it from there.

Application to the Court for Directions

If you’re still unsure about the Deed of Adoption and Confirmation, Hill Legal can help you prepare an application to the court for directions. This way, the court can give a definitive outcome on the validity of your deed or document. Just keep in mind that this approach can be expensive and cumbersome.

Bespoke Review Feature

The bespoke review feature isn’t just for lost or unsigned deeds. You can also use it to get tailored advice on various issues like:

  • The operation of the governing rules of a trust deed
  • Providing a valid Deed Update
  • The validity of Death Benefit Nominations
  • Fund compliance with superannuation laws
  • Resolving contravention reports with the ATO
  • Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements or pre-99 Unit Trusts
  • Property Development using an SMSF
  • Transactions involving related parties or in-house assets
  • The effectiveness of superannuation documents in achieving their intended purpose

Get Started with Smarter SMSF Platform

If you’re not already using the Smarter SMSF platform, you can register and subscribe anytime.

Or, you can reach out to Hill Legal directly on our website or by calling our office on 03 5976 6500, for a legal review on any of these issues.

The SMSF landscape is complex and always changing. The new Smarter SMSF Legal Review offers peace of mind and comfort for you and your clients. It’s the best way to protect your client’s interests and your firm from potential conflicts or liabilities when ordering documents from Smarter SMSF.

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