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). A trust is not a separate legal entity.
A trustee may be an individual or a company. The trustee is legally liable for the debts of the trust and may use its assets to meet those debts. However, if there is a shortfall the trustee is responsible for the difference.
A trust is set up through a trust deed and there are two main types: discretionary or unit trusts.
In a discretionary trust, the trustee has discretion in the distribution of funds to each beneficiary. In a unit trust, the interest in the trust is divided into units with their distribution determined by the number of units held by each member.
Advantages and disadvantages of a trust
The advantages of a trust include:
- Asset protection and limited liability
- Flexible for tax purposes
- Beneficiaries are not liable for trust debts
- Flexibility on income distribution
The disadvantages of a trust include:
- Highly costly to establish
- Complex legal structure
- Extensive regulations
- Difficulty to change structure after its set up
How we can help
Trust is the most complex of the basic structures to set up and administer. We can help handle the complexity so you can peace of mind that your family and assets are protected with ease and comfort.
We can help with
- Trust set-up including stamping
- Corporate trustee set-up
- ABN and TFN registration for the trust and trustee company
- Creating the Trust Deed and Constitution for the trustee company
- Optimising trust performance and tax outcomes for the trust and beneficiaries
- Managing ongoing tax, PAYG and GST compliance for the trust, trustee and beneficiaries
- ASIC reporting and returns
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