Discretionary Trust Set up Steps:
- Ensure you have consent and all the personal details for the Appointor, Trustee/s, Settlor and Beneficiaries,
- Decide on the settled sum,
- Decide on the type of trustee (company or individual),
- Once you have all of the above requirements in order, you are ready to apply!
Setting up a Discretionary Trust
Also known as a Family Trust, a Discretionary Trust is established by a Deed between the person who sets up the trust (settlor) and a Trustee (either a company or individual). In a discretionary, or family trust, the Trustee has the power to choose at their own discretion whether any sum is to be paid to beneficiaries, and if so, how much.
The reason why the term Family Trust is often used is that the Trust is usually set up to hold a family’s assets or to conduct a family business.
Generally, they are established for asset protection and/or tax purposes.
As the Trustee has the ability to distribute income to the beneficiaries, the heads of the family are normally appointed as individuals or as the directors of the trustee company.
Some important facts about trusts;
- A trust cannot sue or be sued;
- The trustee holds the legal title to the trust property on behalf of the beneficiaries who hold the equitable interest;
- A trust is not permitted to continue indefinitely.
One of the key benefits of a discretionary/family trust is that the trustee can distribute income earned by the trust (from the trust property) in any way they see fit, provided distributions are made to people who qualify as beneficiaries. They do not have to make trust distributions in any particular proportion or in the same proportions as they did in previous years.
Once the deed has been signed by all the relevant parties, in most states it is required to be stamped at your local State Revenue Office.
The stamp duty requirements and fees differ in each state of Australia.