Estate Planning & Succession Planning Advice

Planning for your family and their future is important. As well as laying the foundations for your own financially secure retirement, you want to make sure your family is looked after and this means much more than just having a valid Will.

Wills Are Only One Aspect Of Estate Planning

Indeed, if you do not have a valid Will, then it is possible that your assets and estate will be administered by the Public Trustee and this could cause unintended delays, costs and stress to your family in accessing their inheritance.

Estate planning gives you and your family peace of mind that everything is legally and professionally taken care of, protecting your assets and allowing their efficient distribution as you intend to happen. There are several aspects to be considered in estate planning including, but not limited to, Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, Asset Ownership and Business Structures. Effective estate planning allows for:

  • Asset protection and tax effectiveness;
  • Access to capital, control of equity and appropriate distribution of your assets;
  • Protecting your assets from bankruptcy, marriage breakdowns and more;
  • Ensuring your beneficiaries receive your assets in the most protected form.

Two Common Estate and Succession Planning Mistakes

  • Not ensuring your estate plan is properly funded and documented so your wishes are followed;
  • Not combining financial and legal planning advice to achieve the best result for your beneficiaries.

Rita Zappulla and SMSF Strategic Advisors work closely with Brien Leibinger Lawyers, and other lawyers in Cairns and Brisbane, to provide clients with comprehensive financial, estate planning and succession planning advice, tailored to your specific needs and circumstances, including business and family trust arrangements. For more information phone (07) 4225 5428 or email

Client Testimonials

I can thoroughly recommend Brien and Rita – very informative and clearly presented and based on experience so very relevant to anyone approaching retirement (like us!).

Nigel Inskip - Cairns

Our first meeting with Rita was held a few days before Christmas. We were meeting with our bank manager to discuss some business restructuring options prior to my father-in-law leaving for overseas in the next few days. As our bank manager recommended Rita, we phoned her during the meeting to see if we could arrange an appointment. As I explained that we were trying to make some major decisions about our business and our self-managed super fund, Rita dropped what she was doing and came around to our home immediately to join our meeting. She asked very intuitive questions and listened intently before she gave some sound, direct advice that has helped our family know we could move forward financially and restructure the business to provide peace of mind to both sides of the family. From day one Rita’s enthusiasm, thoroughness, sound advice and absolute dedication to do her best for us has been undoubtably evident. We are very fortunate to have her as our financial planner and now our friend.

Jane Mitchell - Nordig NQ Pty Ltd

We’d been looking for someone knowledgeable and trustworthy to give our finances a financial health check. Our search led us to Rita. We couldn’t have been happier. Rita’s passion, knowledge, genuine interest and attention to detail not only put us at ease, but also opened our eyes to areas where we needed to improve. She pointed us in the right direction and equipped us with strategies to grow our wealth and plan for retirement. As if that wasn't enough, she also reviewed our insurances and pointed out how we were inadequately covered and updated all our covers. Things we rarely think of in our busy lives. We cannot thank Rita enough for all her assistance. We haven’t hesitated recommending Rita to family and friends because we know they will be well looked after.

Sharmila & Rahul Reddy

Our accounting practice communicates with clients regarding their superannuation and retirement goals. We are also often asked about borrowing through self-managed super funds, or we may identify planning opportunities for clients using their super. Whilst we can identify these issues or opportunities exist, we do not have the expertise to advise or deliver outcomes. That’s where Rita comes in. Having worked with Rita for many years, we are always confident to recommend her services. She works closely with us and provides thorough and practical advice to our clients. This strengthens our client relationships because they are getting results.

Miriam Eagle FCPA - Partner – Eagle Accounting, Cairns

An arms-length referral by another professional is one of the greatest compliments that could ever be given. You are effectively trusting that your clients will be looked after with respect and the highest possible quality professional and personal service available. The risk of a bad experience for a disgruntled client could result in collateral damage back to our practice. I have been referring clients to Rita for a number of years after meeting her through a mutual client. At that time, I was disillusioned with the financial planning space after receiving considerable negative feedback from clients. Looking back, referring clients to Rita has been one of the best business networking decisions I have made. The feedback from clients has been excellent and the communication between Rita and our office has been proactive for the benefit of our mutual clients. I have found Rita to be honest in her dealings with clients, ensuring that their best interests are a priority over and above any potential financial gain for her business. Vipiana & Associates are proud of our relationship with Rita and her team at SMSF Strategic Advisors and we look forward to many more years of working together for the benefit of our clients.

Allan Vipiana - Vipiana & Associates Accountants & Advisors

Having been self-employed for the majority of my working life I have always been very focused on my business, but never seemed to find the time to plan for retirement. An opportunity came up to purchase the office I was renting, and I looked into buying it through a SMSF. After some research it seemed far too complicated and I had almost given up when I found Rita. From the first meeting it was very evident Rita had all the answers. I needed to set up a SMSF and borrow to purchase the office, and with a positive and proactive approach Rita made the whole process easy. Thank you Rita – rather than paying rent each month I am now getting one step closer to retirement.

David Jaunzems - Cairns Beaches Realty

Rita, the “nine year” plan we undertook when you first set up our SMSF is now completed. As of October 2018, our pension/SMSF is totally tax free to the kids. Thanks!

Patsy Bilic - Silkwood

Rita’s service is thorough and personalised. She leaves no stone-unturned – and discovered several ways for us to save money rapidly, without sacrificing our lifestyle. Would I recommend Rita? Absolutely!

Mark and Belinda Allen

Thanks to Rita, I have finally started the process of financial planning. She was fantastic to work with. She made everything so easy to understand and her straight forward approach is so refreshing. Rita made sure it was easy for me to understand and has given me excellent strategies to work with. She got me thinking about planning for the future. When someone writes numbers on paper and it’s all black and white, we realise how many things we take for granted. She didn’t sugar coat anything, she said what our risk ratio is and what we need to minimise it, financial plans to keep our kids and maintain our lifestyle if things went wrong in life. Thank you Rita for sorting out our insurance and drawing up the financial plan. One step at a time.

Dr Anvitha Rao

I have worked with Kerry for eleven years now and appreciate that she always hears my concerns with respect to financial security. Kerry genuinely cares about my financial plan and making sure that I am adequately covered and protected. It’s nice to speak with someone directly who is always on top of the current issues and removes the stress and complexity from financial planning and insurance.

Samantha Singh

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