Published on 01 Feb 12
by "THE TAX SPECIALIST" JOURNAL ARTICLE
Discretionary trusts play a very important role in preserving wealth from financial risk, but how they work to achieve this goal is often not well understood.
This article considers the technical attributes of discretionary trusts which provide shelter in times of financial trouble. It also considers judicial intervention which might be seen to interrupt that financial isolation. The article addresses the following matters: why a discretionary trust is prima facie impervious to a trustee in bankruptcy; the claims of a retired trustee against the current trustee; the claims of trustees in bankruptcy or liquidators against income or capital distributions; the reach of the Federal Court decision in Richstar (No 6); and the power of the Family Court in the context of the decision in Kennon v Spry.
Finally, the article considers the extent to which the recently introduced trust streaming rules may impact on an otherwise useful asset protection tool.
Ken is a tax and commercial law partner in the Sydney office of SBN Lawyers. He has extensive experience in all aspects of tax (including State taxes) as well as business structuring, asset protection, succession planning and trust and estate law. Ken is a National Councillor of the Tax Institute and a member of the NSW Divisional Council and Education Committee. He is also a member of the Advisory Panel to the Board of Taxation and has recently been involved as a member of the Working Group on Managed Investment Trusts.
Current at 13 January 2009
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