Family Trusts

Family trusts can act as an instrument to protect and manage wealth and assets to future generations. Get advice you need to get it right.

What is a Family Trust?

Trusts are widely used for investment and business purposes. A Family Trust is a type of trust created to benefit persons who are related to one another by blood, friendship, or law. It can be established by a family member for the benefit of the members of the family group.

Family trusts were originally used by wealthy families to minimise tax obligations. They are now becoming very popular due to the many blended families that exist, to protect family assets from passing to non related person or to cater for drug effected or disabled members of the family that cannot manage money, so that the funds are utilised in the best possible manner.

Discover if a Family Trust is right for you.

How we can help

We can assist you to set up a Family trust within days of receiving your instructions.

Some common reasons people may seek to establish a family trust:

  • Estate planning
  • Asset protection in unforeseen bankruptcy or legal disputes.
  • Making lifetime gifts to children.
  • Protecting beneficiaries from themselves.
  • Planning for financially disabled family members
  • Limiting claims of new partners to your children’s inheritance
  • As part of a tax planning strategy
  • Avoiding probate for all property held in the trust

Get it right the first time

Family trusts could provide benefits related to taxation, asset protection and estate planning and are generally considered the next most popular investment vehicle in Australia after superannuation. Family trusts can provide many advantages but when done poorly can create unnecessary risk and expense. Let us help you get it right the first time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Trustee?

The trustee is responsible for managing the trust’s tax affairs, including registering the trust in the tax system, lodging trust tax returns and paying some tax liabilities.

Under trust law, trustees are:

  • personally liable for the debts of the trusts they administer, and
  • entitled to be indemnified out of the trust property for liabilities incurred in the proper exercise of the trustee’s powers (except where a breach of trust has occurred).

What is a Beneficiary?

Beneficiaries (except some minors and non-residents) include their share of the trust’s net income as income in their own tax returns. There are special rules for some types of trust including family trusts, deceased estates and super funds.

A Trustee can also be one of the beneficiaries of a Family Trust.

What is the process of setting up a Family Trust?

Depending on your circumstances there may be differences in how a Family Trust is establised.

A generic overview of the process appears below.

  • Determine the trustees
  • Determine the beneficiaries
  • Draft a Discretionary Trust Deed
  • Settle the Family Trust
  • Sign the Trust
  • Pay the Stamp Duty (not applicable in all states)
  • Apply for ABN and TFN
  • Open a separate bank account

How much does it cost to set up a Family Trust?

Like any type of legal entity there are costs involved with establishing a Family Trust.

Depending on the complexity of the Trust the initial start up cost can be approximately $2,500

Who can set up an Australian Family Trust?

In general terms the following criteria must be met:

  • You must be a legally competent person, including a company
  • An Australian citizen OR Permanent Resident

How many beneficiaries can be related to a single Family Trust?

There must be at least one beneficiary and there is no cap on the maximum number of beneficiaries.

How many Trustees' can a Family Trust have?

Family Trusts must have at least one Trustee however there can be several trustees.

What are some of the ongoing costs of running a Family Trust?

There are significant rules and regulations that surround family trusts. These include meeting the requirements for asset protection and the Australian Taxation Office registrations.  As such accounting and auditing fees will most likely big the largest ongoing expense.

Can people under 18 be a beneficiary?

Yes, but you should be aware that tax relating to trusts can be complex.  If a trustee distributes income to someone under the age of 18, they may be subject to a substantial amount of tax.

Can I transfer a property I own Into a Trust?

Yes, however the transfer of property you currently own into a trust will generally be classed as a sale. This can be an expensive exercise as, in addition to the appropriate sales contracts/agreements, this can incur Capital Gains Tax and stamp duty.

Let's Talk Trusts. Request A Call Back From Nathan Today!
Get Started Today

We’re here to help.

With the right people on your side, you could be financially liberated.
Take the first step and chat to our team today.

Over 550+ 5 Star Reviews