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Why SMSF’s are not Truely DIY.


When entering into a Self-Managed Super Fund, having a team of ‘Subject Matter Experts’ to support you by giving good advice is crucial.  The one decision to start your fund can, and often does, trigger the need to review other financial and legal requirements.

I’ve spoken to Shane Ellis, Director at Shane Ellis Legal Group and specialist in SMSF Law, about his experiences with SMSF’s.

Shane, I find that SMSF customers can be quite different in age, occupations and domestic situations.  Tell me, what does your typical SMSF customer look like?

 Most of my clients are baby boomers even though statistics show that Gen X & Y have more money in superannuation than anyone else. Most have families and are wanting to firstly protect each other if one of them should pass away or lose their faculties, and then after that have their estate available for their family. They want Peace of Mind with their affairs which is why they come to me as well as the desire to legally minimise their tax and maximise their retirement savings.

 When a customer is considering having their own SMSF, what are the other areas that might also need review or attention?

Firstly the process of the actual setting up a SMSF is critical. A good quality SMSF Deed with a corporate trustee is a must. We also provide clients as a matter of good quality service with the ATO information brochures, “How your SMSF is regulated” and “Running a SMSF”. We also speak with our clients about proper estate planning and any other matters that arise such as the hidden death taxes in superannuation and how to legally amortise them. Your Will does not apply to your superannuation! People need to understand that, as it is folk “lore” that it does. We encourage clients to review their affairs regularly, and at the very least annually pertaining to SMSFs. They should also keep up to date and always read our e-newsletters for the latest developments.

I’m sure over the years you’ve seen some examples of what not to do with an SMSF.  I know quite often, I am called in at the last moment to clean up another broker’s mess.

 What are your ‘tips’ to avoiding the most common SMSF pitfalls?

The BIGGEST tip is that your Self-Managed Superannuation Fund is not self-managed! You will always get the very best out of your SMSF by working with a team of experts.

I don’t provided SMSF finance advice, accounting, or Financial Planning advice. I leave that to the experts in those fields. Working with a good team always achieves more. Having a complying SMSF permits you to have the tax advantages that go with superannuation. A non-complying fund means BIG fines, loss of tax concessions, prohibition from having a SMSF and even ‘striped PJs’, so getting it right is critical. In exchange you have a legal tax haven that can be accessed in retirement where under current laws you pay no tax on earnings or CGT when in pension phase in your fund.

 Don’t forget a great finance broker, Shane!

 No, and of course a great finance broker.


What kind of outcomes can a client expect from following your advice? 

I very often save clients tens of thousands and often hundreds of thousands of dollars by drawing their attention to the hidden death taxes that exist in their SMSF and explaining to them how we can assist them to legally kill them off! They are often dumbfounded that it has never been explained to them previously. We quickly pay for our fees with this sort of advice and have very many very happy clients!

Would you like to work with Shane and the team at Shane Ellis Legal Group?


Shane has made the generous offer of: Half price Supersession.

Normally $590.00 including GST but by booking with Shane within 60 days of the publish date of this post you receive the session for ½ price and it can paid for by your SMSF.

Contact Shane Ellis Legal Group on Phone: (07) 5534 3900

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