Self-Managed Super Funds

Appointing trustees

How to become a trustee

To become a Trustee of an SMSF the person must accept the role of trustee or director in writing and sign a declaration stating that they understand their duties and responsibilities.  These forms must be kept with the SMSF records for at least 10 years as they may need to be provided to the ATO upon request. 

The general rule is that all members of the SMSF must also be the trustees (if individual trustees) or directors of the corporate trustee and there are no other trustees/directors. But there are three exceptions. 

  1. Single member fund: The member can be the sole director of a corporate trustee or can invite someone else to also be a director. If choosing individual trustees, they must appoint someone else as second trustee. 
  1. Death or incapacity of a member: The member’s legal personal representative (executor or enduring power of attorney) can replace the member as trustee. 
  1. Child under age 18: The child’s parent/guardian can step in and act as trustee.


As all members of the SMSF are required to also be trustees. It is important to carefully consider who is brought in as members of the SMSF. All trustees have equal say in the decisions of the fund. This may have particular implications for the decisions on payment of death benefits.