n easy task.
Land purchase documents
If you have bought or sold land: and you have lost the purchase contract you can contact Landgate for details of the transaction.
If the original owner of the land is deceased you can lodge an “Application by Personal Representative Form (A1)” with Landgate.
Lost trust deeds
The matter of losing your trust deed is significant. In effect the concern is that the terms of the original trust and the terms of the “replacement” trust are significantly different.
In particular the differences can be so large that all of the assets of the trust are deemed to have been sold for capital gains tax purposes and then repurchased.
Further, stamp duty can also apply to the “new” trust.
So locating copies of the original deed, or approaching the original lawyer who created the trust for evidence of instruction is a prudent step.
The safest approach is to apply to the court for directions on the lost deed. However the costs of this approach is so high than many people make a concerted effort to locate their deed.
Lost SMSF deeds
Most SMSF auditors will have a copy of the trust deed. So a simple case of going to your SMSF tax advisor will probably give you a copy of the trust deed.
Further, the person who originally gave you tax advice on creating the SMSF will probably also be able to help.
It is difficult to simply “start a new SMSF” and then sell the assets across. The new SMSF is likely to be associated with the old SMSF so the purchase may breach the rules (there are merger concessions but they are complex).
Many law firms who prepare the will retain an original of the will.
If a will was in last possession of the will maker the general presumption is that the will maker destroyed it intentionally.
If a copy is in existence you can make an application to probate proving that the copy you hold is accurate, the will was properly executed and the person making the will did not intentionally destroy the document.
So in this case (which is really messy) you are best placed to get help from an estate planning professional with probate expertise.
If you are in the process of reconstructing lost information you are in for a lot of work. The simple act of understanding how to complete forms will typically take you a lot longer than what an experienced professional will charge.
At Westcourt we currently assist very large law firms reconstruct information for their client’s deceased estates and we have processes and systems to do this work efficiently. You might be surprised at how quickly and easily we can turn around an embarrassing or ugly scenario and give you certainty over what is going on.