Trust Deeds

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What is a trust?

A trust is an agreement, whereby a company or a person agrees to hold assets for the benefit of others. Discretionary Family Trusts, Unit trusts and Hybrid Trusts are the three most common types of trusts. Contact our superannuation proceeds trust lawyers for more information on trust funds relating to super.

Trust Deeds

Trust Deed is a mandatory legal document which is required to create a Trust. It outlines the purpose of the trust, the rights, powers and obligations of the trustees and beneficiaries. It also classifies various parties such as initial beneficiaries, trustee(s) and appointers.

Corporate Trustees

A trustee of a discretionary family trust can be either one or more individuals, or one or more corporates, or a combination of both individuals and corporates.

It is always better to appoint a corporate as trustee compared to an individual. Following are the advantages of having a corporate as trustee:

If a current individual trustee dies or resigns, all the assets of the trust (including the trust deed) need to be transferred from the name of the old individual trustee to the name of the new individual trustee. In case of a corporate, there is no requirement of transfer of assets in the following instances:

  • A Director of a company dies or resigns;
  • Directors of corporate trustee can be beneficiaries in their individual capacity of a trust whilst still being in control of the same trust;
  • Corporate trustee ensures that the assets of the trust are managed by all the directors and not by one individual like that in case of an individual trustee; and
  • In case of a corporate trustee, all the assets of the trust are legally held in the name of the corporate and not individual which thereby provides a protection of the assets in a trust.

Process to Change an Existing Individual Trustee To A Corporate Trustee

An appointer is the party in a trust, who is responsible for appointing and replacing a trustee. An appointer can be either a party who has created the trust, a settler, a trustee or a third party.

The appointer can replace an individual trustee of a discretionary family trust by a corporate trustee by filing a ‘Deed of Appointment and Removal of Trustees’. Following are the documents required for replacing an individual trustee of a discretionary family trust by a corporate trustee:

  • Deed of Appointment and Removal of Trustee(s); and
  • Notice of Resignation of Trustee(s).

The following is information required to complete the ‘Deed of Appointment and Removal of Trustees’:

  • Names of the appointer;
  • Details of outgoing trustees and continuing trustees;
  • Details of the new trustees;
  • Details of the trust; and
  • Signatures of appointer, continuing trustees and new trustees.

Owen Hodge Lawyers is a law firm you can trust with your trust deeds. Our wills and estate lawyers can assist in ensuring that the change from individual to corporate trustee is compliant with all relevant regulations.

More information relating to trusts:

Directors Duties

Business Sale and Purchase

Business Succession Planning

Contracts and Businesses

Self-Managed Superannuation Fund


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