Video transcript – Planning for the unexpected

The last thing you think of when starting a self-managed super fund is what will happen at the end.

But you really should plan for the future when setting up your fund, including if a relationship breaks down or if a member becomes incapacitated or dies.

There are a few things to consider when making your plans:

  • You need to have a plan for what will happen to the fund if a member leaves. It may mean adding a new SMSF member, changing the type of fund, or winding up the fund.
  • Payments from your SMSF must meet the rules in the SMSF trust deed, so make sure it covers situations like incapacity, terminal illness or death of a member.
  • Payments must also meet tax and super laws. In some cases, you may have to withhold tax before paying a super benefit.
  • You need to consider the insurance needs of members when you set up your investment strategy.
  • You should consider making a binding death benefit nomination if you want to say who will get your super benefits when you die. An SMSF adviser or estate planner can help you get this right.
  • It’s also a good idea to consider what will happen if you become incapable of looking after yourself and your affairs.
  • You may want to appoint an enduring power of attorney, who can act as trustee of your SMSF if it’s ever needed.
  • If relationships in an SMSF break down, you must be prepared to sort out any issues that arise. You can’t force another member to leave or stay in the SMSF or exclude them from the decision-making process.

It pays to make sure your plans are set from the start, so that you are prepared for the unexpected. An SMSF professional will be able to help you make these important plans.

For more SMSF information, take a look at our other videos or visit the ATO website at

    Last modified: 12 Nov 2015QC 39855