A trust can help you preserve your assets, minimise tax and protect your wealth. From setting up a trust to choosing the best structure for your needs, our team is here to help.
Trusts can provide significant asset protection along with estate planning and taxation benefits. Trusts come in different shapes and sizes and choosing the right trust depends on numerous factors.
What is a trust?
A trust is a structure where a trustee carries out the business on behalf of the trust’s members or beneficiaries. That trustee can be an individual or a company and they’re responsible for managing the trust’s tax affairs. They’re also the legal owner of the assets of the trust.
Why set up a trust?
Trusts are most commonly used to minimise tax and manage assets, but there are many reasons why trusts are so appealing:
- You can separate the owner of the asset (the beneficiary) and control over that asset (the trustee)
- You can protect your assets from financial claims made against the beneficiary
- You can use the trust as a business entity for investing or trading
- You get greater flexibility when it comes to tax planning
Types of trusts in Australia
Discretionary or Family Trust: This is the most common type of trust used by families. Here, the trustee has the discretion to choose which beneficiaries (from a list of beneficiaries specified in the trust deed) will receive income from the trust and what amount is to be paid out.
Fixed or Unit Trust: Unlike a discretionary trust, the beneficiaries and how much money they receive from the trust is fixed. A unit trust is a common form of a fixed trust, where the income that the beneficiaries are entitled to is divided into units and paid out to whoever holds the units at the specified distribution date.
Testamentary trust: This is a trust formed through a will when somebody dies.
How we can help
Setting up a trust can be complicated, but one of the real benefits is that they’re very flexible, in that they can be changed as the situation occurs and they go on in perpetuity or only for a specified period or for a specific asset. This means we can help you build a trust that’s bespoke to your individual situation and needs. You can rely on us to:
- Guide you through the different types of trusts and structures, including the pros and cons of a business trust vs a company
- Prepare your trust deed
- Make sure you understand and have control of the way the trust will run
- Act in the best interests of your beneficiaries