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Bust-proofing trusts

Published on 01 Aug 14 by "TAXATION IN AUSTRALIA" JOURNAL ARTICLE

Longstanding views about the form and level of asset protection afforded by trusts have been challenged and made less certain by a number of recent court decisions and legislative changes. This article explores the key issues to consider when seeking to “bust-proof” a trust, that is, to render a trust structure less vulnerable to challenge on taxation grounds. The article examines the consequences of recent family court decisions involving trusts, some practical recommendations when dealing with trusts in the context of structuring a client’s affairs, the impact of the decision in the Richstar case in 2006, some bankruptcy issues, and critical issues to consider whenever establishing or amending a trust deed. In the author’s view, for the time being, the benefits of discretionary trusts are generally still sufficient to make them the preferred structure for asset protection purposes, but great care should be taken when restructuring and establishing discretionary trusts.

Author profile:

Author Photo - Matthew Burgess CTA
Matthew Burgess CTA
Matthew co-founded specialist firm View Legal in 2014, having been a partner of one of Australia's leading independent law firms for over 12 years. Matthew's passion is helping clients successfully achieve their goals. Matthew specialises in tax, asset protection, estate and succession planning, providing strategic advice to business owners and high net worth individuals, and was recognised in the "Best Lawyers" list for 2014 in relation to trusts and estates. As an author, Matthew is widely recognised as an expert in his field, who constantly creates bespoke revenue-related strategies for the growth, management and protection of wealth. Matthew is regularly published in Australia's leading monthly tax journal, The Tax Institute's Taxation in Australia (six articles since 2012), and the leading weekly tax journal, Thomson Reuters' Weekly Tax Bulletin (10 articles since 2012). He has also written five legal books, one business book and 16 children's books. Current at 01 June 2016 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Matthew BURGESS.
 
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