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Testamentary trusts: Bespoke planning opportunities


In recent years, the need for effective structuring of business and personal assets has been brought into sharp focus for high net worth individuals and business owners. Fundamental changes to the taxation regime, the vast amounts of wealth accumulated within superannuation funds and the increasing tendency for both business and personal relationships to be relatively short term, as opposed to life long, have meant that traditional estate planning has been revolutionised.

This article focuses on the creative use of testamentary trusts in the context of estate planning. The article considers assets that do not form part of an estate, testamentary trusts, tax treatment of testamentary trusts, the attitude of the Australian Taxation Office towards testamentary trusts, trust cloning, trust splitting, bespoke company constitutions and fettering of a trustee’s discretion, and changing of domicile.

Author profile

Matthew Burgess CTA
Photo of author, Matthew BURGESS Matthew Burgess, CTA, co-founded Brisbane based 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 30 November 2017
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