Family Trusts are a popular structure which can often be used for asset protection, tax efficiency and flexible distribution of income and capital to family members.
Assets are held by a trustee, and not by any beneficiary personally. This means that trust assets will not form part of your estate, and will be dealt with separately in accordance with the trust deed. Usually, a trustee will have a power to distribute income or capital accumulated by the trust amongst beneficiaries. This makes the trustee succession important, because they will have the power to determine who gets the trust assets after you pass away.
A trustee can be a person, or a company. Careful planning and legal advice should be sought to determine how the trusteeship will pass after your death.
Some trust deeds include appointor and trust guardian roles, which have extra powers, such as the removal of trustees, or consent to significant decisions (such as distribution of capital).
Legal advice is always recommended to minimise potential stamp duty and capital gains tax issues.
Suzanne Lyttleton Lawyers are expert lawyers who can advise on complex trust matters, and trust succession.