Trusts are legal and monetary arrangements where one party (the trustee) operates on behalf of another party (the beneficiary). Trustees, for example, might manage a family business and distribute annual profits to the members.

Corporations are separate legal entities, but trusts are not. Essentially, there are two types of trust: discretionary (in which the trustee decides how the assets should be distributed) and fixed interests (in which certain beneficiaries will benefit in a certain proportion). The most common form of trustee is a corporation, which is a tax-efficient business structure.

What was your last estate planning review? If the tax and retirement laws change, it may be necessary to update it.

A will can help you accomplish several important goals, such as naming a proxy who will settle your estate and divide your property when you pass away. Furthermore, you can provide guardianship for children, specify the type of care to receive when one is ill or incapacitated, and minimize tax exposure by transferring property in the most tax-efficient and expeditious way.

If you have never written a will or another important legal document, you should consult a lawyer. The will outline how a deceased person’s estate is distributed after death. A power of attorney (POA), for example, can appoint someone you trust to handle your financial and legal matters; in the event of sickness or incapacity, a living will specify what kind of medical care you want to receive. For more information, visit

Taking part in trust has many advantages

  • With trusts, businesses are protected from liability and their assets are protected.
  • It may be necessary to keep someone’s income or assets away from the control of other parties by using a trust.
  • Trusts offer a lot of flexibility tax-wise. Benefits are distributed according to the preferences of beneficiaries of a discretionary trust.
  • The beneficiaries of trusts are rarely responsible for the debts of the trust, unlike sole traders or partnerships.
  • Beneficiaries of trusts are taxed based on their marginal rates.

Having trust has certain disadvantages

  • Setting up a trust is more expensive than forming a partnership or sole trader.
  • An accountant or solicitor is required to set up trusts since they are complicated legal structures.
  • Beneficiaries are strictly responsible for holding and managing trust assets for the trustee’s benefit only.
  • Several conditions must be met by the business before it can operate according to the trust deed.
  • Trusts are also subject to extensive regulations, just like companies.
  • The beneficiaries of a trust cannot deduct losses incurred in the trust from other income they might receive.
  • In order for a trust to expand, it cannot keep profits and avoid tax penalties.

Organizations other than businesses

  • One-person business
  • Collaboration
  • Organization

Consider the following…

  • The Australian Taxation Office can assist with questions about selecting the correct legal structure by calling 13 72 26.
  • Understanding the tax basics for small businesses will help you.
  • You should consult your tax and legal advisors for more personalized advice.

How much trust can you place in others?

Considering your estate planning attorney’s advice is imperative before setting up any trust, since they come in many shapes and sizes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Two major categories of trusts are revocable and irrevocable.

The trust can be rescinded or modified at any time if you set up a revocable trust and keep control of the funds.
A trust can’t be modified if it is irrevocable. You lose all control and ownership over the property when you transfer it into an irrevocable trust (even though you still receive some benefits from it). This property will not be subject to estate taxes since you are no longer a beneficiary and can no longer control it.



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