The SAPEPAA Story

Over the past 18 months, a group of accountants, IT, finance and family advisers have been busy building a new advisers association for accountants and financial planners to become certified to provide advice on succession, asset protection and estate planning. It is a huge initiative, and on 2 December 2021, the Succession, Asset Protection and Estate Planning Advisers Association (SAPEPPA) will be formally launched and open for membership. Having been one of the founders of the SMSF Association, I am personally surprised by how far we have come (thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the directors on the Board). But, more importantly, how there is now a comprehensive framework for accountants and financial planners to provide advice in this exciting area that covers more than $9 trillion of family homes, investments and superannuation.

To be at the launch, which will be streamed across Australia at 12:30 pm AEDT on 2 December 2021, simply register here: SAPEPAA VIP Launch

Graphic One:

What do SAPEPAA advisers do?

These are things that worry your clients and why SAPEPAA was born. Board-certified SAPEPAA advisers are there to protect family wealth. Our initial advisers have provided an excellent opportunity to get closer to a client’s family, be seen as a trusted adviser, and earn lucrative advising fees. But, of course, the first is always to create a long term business or career – I saw that in the SMSF industry, with a large percentage of my early students going on to great things.

First and foremost, every Australian with a family home is exposed to litigation during life and after death. There is no safe place anymore, and with the forever Covid crisis, Australians feel insecure about their family’s wealth. Not in terms of the underlying investments but that it may be subject to aggressive litigation. You may not have heard, but the Commissioner of Taxation burst through a commonly used asset protection strategy of the “non risk” spouse holding all of a family’s assets – see Commissioner of Taxation v Bosanac (No 7) [2021] FCA 249.  The Commissioner found a keyhole into the family home even though he was suing the husband and not his wife, who held the house in her name. A SAPEPAA advisers goal is to ensure that this does not happen to their clients.  And it is not during life that family wealth can be devastated.  The case of MILLER -v- TAYLOR [2018] WASC 75 in the Supreme Court deciding upon a family provisions claim for a medium-size estate of $600,000 where more than $500,000 in legal fees were charged, devastating the beneficiaries ultimate claims.

Why is SAPEPAA different?

The Board of SAPEPAA has looked at all the current accounting, planning, and SMSF associations. Reviewing their strengths and weaknesses and building an association for modern-day advisers – not only in terms of ongoing quarterly training, forums to seek technical help but also as a marketing face for SAPEPAA advisers. SAPEPAA is there to protect and advance our adviser’s interests with some great and exciting innovations that you will see firsthand at our launch. We are not there to build 100’s of employees but are focused on earning massive revenue from mandated association training and conferences. In addition, we are there to help grow the SAPEP industry.

Our First Certified SAPEPAA Advisers

On launch day, 2 December 2021, the Board will open up Foundation membership to 100 advisers only who have been through the extensive SAPEPAA accreditation course. Once certified, these leading-edge advisers will become a new breed whose goal is to protect family wealth and ensure it passes to where it should and not be held up in years of litigation. Once we reach Foundation membership, the next in line is our Certified SAPEP adviser for those that have completed a recognised SAPEPAA accreditation course. Finally, we will also have industry membership for those people not seeking certification or advising status.

So, for those curious about what SAPEPAA is, who it is for, and how you can stake your claim, make sure you register for the SAPEPAA launch and look seriously at the LightYear Training Group SAPEPAA accreditation course.

Our First Certified SAPEPAA Advisers

On launch day, 2 December 2021, the Board will open up Foundation membership to 100 advisers only who have been through the extensive SAPEPAA accreditation course. Once certified, these leading-edge advisers will become a new breed whose goal is to protect family wealth and ensure it passes to where it should and not be held up in years of litigation. Once we reach Foundation membership, the next in line is our Certified SAPEP adviser for those that have completed a recognised SAPEPAA accreditation course. Finally, we will also have industry membership for those people not seeking certification or advising status.

So, for those curious about what SAPEPAA is, who it is for, and how you can stake your claim, make sure you register for the SAPEPAA launch and look seriously at the LightYear Training Group SAPEPAA accreditation course.

Launch of the LightYear Training Group SAPEPAA Adviser Accreditation Course – second intake

As a recognised SAPEPAA accreditation course meeting the comprehensive adviser competency standards, the LightYear Training Group is the leader in training SAPEPAA advisers. Our next SAPEPAA Adviser accreditation course is on 18 – 20 January 2021, enabling attendees to get a head start in 2022. So let’s take time and go through the three reasons you should strongly consider investing in the course.

1.      This is a Big Industry right under our noses
Being one of the first advisers, over time, you can become a confident and proficient adviser in this $9 trillion industry. Many of you are aware that I started in SMSFs, and I still love them to death. But it’s only a tiny portion of the all-encompassing succession, asset protection and estate planning (SAPEP) advice landscape.

Importantly SAPEP is a new field of combined expertise perfectly tailored to accountants and financial planners, without all the licensing requirements. Currently, no one is doing the combined SAPEP package. We have lawyers doing estate planning, to some very small extent accountants doing asset protection and very few doing succession planning for family wealth.  Plus, no adviser is really ensuring that family wealth is protected for bloodline only. These are key parameters and criteria for not one, not two, but essentially all of your clients.  Anyone with a family home is exposed – see Miller’s case above.

2.      Become one of the first 300 SAPEPAA Advisers
Over the next decade, we will see over $3 trillion of assets passing between generations. Much of that is challenged under very favourable (to the challengers) state-based family provisions laws.  By the end of 2030, we fully expect there will be 3000 SAPEPAA Board Certified Advisers. These advisers will enter SAPEPAA certification via accreditation courses from universities such as Griffith and Deacon, training colleges such as Kaplan, and of course, the LightYear Training Group. Being first in line, the LightYear Training Group course students are fortunate to be at the very forefront and future leaders in the field. Now, how exciting would that one be? Plus, with any industry standards and costs of education will go higher with one of the universities that I have talked to looking to make it a $10,000 diploma course!

3.     Trained by the SAPEPAA Chairman – Grant Abbott
Training to become a certified SAPEPAA adviser is all-important, but you must have a strong, specialist trainer that knows their stuff – otherwise, you will get off on the wrong foot.  At this time, the LightYear Training Group has secured the Chairman of SAPEPAA as its main trainer and the author and preparer of all training materials.

Grant is second to none in terms of training qualifications. In terms of SMSFs, Grant completed more than 2000 presentations, written five books on SMSFs and is currently in the process with other experts in their field writing a book on Family Wealth Protection.

As Chairman of SAPEPAA, Grant has had a hand in writing the competency standards for providing advice on succession, asset protection, and estate planning.

Course Information

If you are interested in the course for our early bird pricing, you can purchase your ticket here: SAPEPAA sign up

If you have any questions, please contact ben@lightyeardocs.com.au

Appendix: The Fourteen Modules for the SAPEPA Accreditation training are:

  1.         The SAPEP market in Australia and worldwide– history, background, the current state of play and five years from now.  The importance of SAPEPAA dealing with governments, insurers and other associations and growing Australian perceptions to build the SAPEP advice space.      II.          The importance of Succession – whether it is dealing with a client, a family, discretionary trust, self-managed super fund, enduring power of attorney, advance health care directive or establishing executors for an estate, succession is the key to success.  Learn how to build proper lines of succession that would rival the British Royal Family.    III.          The Different Structures – in this module, we will look at a number of structures, discretionary trusts, SMSFs, unit trusts, testamentary trusts, living trusts (aka family protection trusts) and Leading Member trusts to determine the best for succession, asset protection, control and estate planning.

      IV.           The Importance of Documentation – in building a client solution across tax, super, succession, estate planning and asset protection, the first stop is the documentation. Poor documentation leads to weak or inoperative structures. In this module, we will look at some good documentation, great documentation that really serves its purpose and absolute disasters that have cost a lot in terms of rectifications. Also, learn about the magic of deeds of rectification and ratification.

        V.         Advanced Asset Protection – a discretionary trust not established, well, loses all asset protection. In addition, it generally loses effectiveness because of no succession appointor and corporate trustee shares (and control) being exposed. In this session, you will learn how to master asset protection across various structures and businesses.

       VI.          Powers of Attorney and Successor Directors – each State has its own rules regarding a Principal executing a lifetime power of attorney for health and financial matters. Did you know they can specifically be used to replace trusteeship in an SMSF, build a successor director for business continuity, or even redo a binding death benefit nomination? – Provided the documentation is correct.

       VII.         Simple Estate Planning – Wills and testamentary trusts have been around for centuries, and each State has its laws in terms of proper estate planning. This session will look at the basics of estate planning, the terms and language. The legalities of creating a Will, how accredited SAPEPA advisers can create both Wills and testamentary trusts. Lastly, a deep dive into the benefits of a testamentary trust.

       VIII.       The Lifetime Trust v the Will – many of our fellow common law countries don’t go down the Will path due to probate costs, challenges to estates and the simple timing in getting benefits to beneficiaries. Instead, the use of a Living Trust where assets are held for generations, with conditions if needed, are commonly used. In this session, we will briefly review the estate administration process and the development and creation of a Living Trust in Australia.

        IX.        Advanced Estate Planning – in this session, we will review advanced estate planning techniques and strategies for blended families, estranged families, divorced couples with children and overseas Wills.

        X.        Administration of Estates – the process for administering an estate in Australia can range from a minimum of six months to over two decades if the estate is over $2M and a strong family provisions challenge. This session will look at the 15 steps to effectively administer an estate and how a SAPEPAA adviser can look after this high fee earning task for existing clients.

       XI.       The Client Interview – the fundamental part of a successful SAPEPAA plan is the client interview – whether directly, via Zoom or through data capture. Gaining rapport and respect when dealing with families and family wealth protection is the key to success. In this session, we will be reviewing a simple interview process, which takes no more than 45 minutes but delivers a vast array of solutions and client strategies.

       XII.       Family negotiations – passing wealth and, more importantly, family businesses can be challenging from a strategic point of view, but when there is possible family conflict along the way, it is vital to map out family succession strategies and deliver solutions amenable to all, or a nasty Court battle may ensue.

       XIII.      Employee and Family Share Plan – succession planning is important all across the board. The use of employee share plans for death, disability, or retirement of a key business owner is an excellent offering for clients and their teams.  This can also be incorporated into a family succession plan.

    Building a SAPEP advice business – it is great to be a visionary, but visionaries often battle alone. Not with SAPEPAA, your association to look after your needs. This session will look at the ideal SAPEPAA business model and budgetary spreadsheets, and advisory capacity.

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