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Superannuation, Trust & Business Succession

Your superannuation benefits, trusts, and business may not automatically pass in accordance with your Will. Suzanne Lyttleton Lawyers are specialists in advising on matters relating to the establishment or succession of superannuation funds (including self-managed superannuation funds), family trusts, special disability trusts, and any businesses that you have.

Succession Planning & Trusts Advice

Over the years, our expert lawyers have advised families on the establishment, management and succession of complex trusts, self-managed superannuation funds and business entities. Clear and proper advice ensures succession to the next generation.

We can help with the establishment of family trusts, special disability trusts and self-managed superannuation funds. We will review your estate planning holistically, to ensure that the succession of any complex structures pass in accordance with your wishes, and to avoid disputes between your loved ones after your passing.

Family Trusts

Family Trusts are a popular structure which can often be used for asset protection, tax efficiency and flexible distribution of income and capital to family members.

Assets are held by a trustee, and not by any beneficiary personally. This means that trust assets will not form part of your estate, and will be dealt with separately in accordance with the trust deed. Usually, a trustee will have a power to distribute income or capital accumulated by the trust amongst beneficiaries. This makes the trustee succession important, because they will have the power to determine who gets the trust assets after you pass away.

A trustee can be a person, or a company. Careful planning and legal advice should be sought to determine how the trusteeship will pass after your death.

Some trust deeds include appointor and trust guardian roles, which have extra powers, such as the removal of trustees, or consent to significant decisions (such as distribution of capital).

Legal advice is always recommended to minimise potential stamp duty and capital gains tax issues.

Suzanne Lyttleton Lawyers are expert lawyers who can advise on complex trust matters, and trust succession.

Special Disability Trusts

A special disability trust is a trust set up for the benefit of a person with a disability.

It can be set up through your Will when you pass away for a beneficiary, or in certain circumstances, whilst you are still alive.

A beneficiary of a special disability trust will not be assessed on the assets of the trust for Centrelink means-testing purposes on assets up to a maximum amount (currently $781,250 plus the home). This means you can give a loved one with a disability assets up to this threshold without it affecting their Centrelink pension.

Services Australia determine whether someone is eligible for a special disability trust based on medical and other evidence.

The trust will be managed by a trustee who you would appoint to manage the funds on behalf of the person with a disability.

We have been involved in the establishment and management of special disability trusts for over a decade. We are experts in the area and can advise you on whether it is appropriate in your circumstances.


Superannuation (including self-managed superannuation funds) does not automatically form part of your estate when you pass away. They are governed by nominations. A nomination can be made to a dependent, interdependent, or your estate.

Depending on the rules of your particular superannuation fund, a nomination may be binding or non-binding. Some binding nominations can lapse after a period of time and must be renewed.

There are different tax consequences for the beneficiaries of your superannuation benefit based on the nominations you make. Accordingly, there can be tax advantages to speaking with a lawyer about the planning of your superannuation.

Our lawyers can advise you on the succession of your superannuation in the context of your broader estate planning. Contact us to make an appointment today.

Business Succession

Business succession is critical for any business. Whether you operate a sole trader, partnership, or company, your untimely death, without a plan, can put your business at risk. If you die, your business does not simply stop. You may still have customers, and creditors, leaving your loved ones with unnecessary stress.

Our expert advisors can advise you on the succession of your business.

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