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Managing disputes in SMSFs


Joint investments, such as a multi-member self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), can give rise to disputes among fellow investors. Within an SMSF, however, the options for resolving disputes must be considered with reference to a complex overlay of superannuation and tax regulation. While a disgruntled shareholder may be able to sell shares to a fellow shareholder and walk away, disentangling interests in an SMSF is not nearly so straightforward. This article examines the kinds of disputes that can arise in an SMSF, and how they may be resolved.

The article considers the regulatory framework, the significance of a fund’s constituent documents, options for resolving disputes, and how an SMSF may be made proof against disputes. The author concludes that advisers should perhaps be more ready to insist that clients think carefully about whether a single member SMSF might better suit their needs.

Author profile

Heather Gray CTA
Heather is a superannuation law partner at Hall & Wilcox Lawyers. She has been involved in the development and implementation of superannuation policy through her roles as a member (and former Chair) of the Superannuation Committee of the Law Council of Australia and as a member of regulatory consultative committees and of the Board of Taxation Advisory Panel. A frequent speaker at superannuation conferences, she is a Chartered Tax Adviser, a member of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and holds Honours degrees in Law and in Arts from the University of Melbourne. - Current at 31 May 2019
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