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Trusts

We create and manage trusts that protect your funds or assets for the benefit of others.

What is a trust?

There are many kinds of trusts. Some are created while you are alive, others begin when you pass away and are activated by your will. 

 

A trust is usually created by a legal document that outlines how assets such as cash or property should be used, who benefits from them, and who manages it. For example, a trust can be established to provide accommodation or financial support for a loved one. The person or company that is responsible for the trust and manages it is known as the trustee.

 

We can provide you with guidance on the right type of trust for you and talk you through the important role of the trustee. You can also appoint us as trustee.

Key benefits

end to end service

End-to-end service

We can help you include a trust in your will that begins when you pass away, create a trust deed to establish a trust while you’re alive, and act as trustee to manage a trust.

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Here when you need us

We can take on the responsibility of managing an existing trust where the current trustee can no longer act in their role.

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Special-use trust experts

We can help you choose the right type of trust, regardless of whether your needs are complex or straightforward.

Options to get started

1. Let’s discuss to your needs

If you’re thinking about creating a trust, it’s a good idea to understand what’s possible first. You can speak to our experts to explore your options.

2. Book a will appointment

If you’d like a trust to commence after your death, one of our experienced Will Writers can work with you to include a trust in your will.

3. Appoint a trustee

If you are the trustee of an existing trust and can no longer act in your role, or if you’re looking for a professional trustee to manage your trust, we can help

Types of trusts

1. Testamentary Trust

A Testamentary Trust is set up in your will and starts after your death once the Executor of your Will has completed their work. It can hold and protect all, or some, of your assets such as property and investments for the benefit of your beneficiaries after your death.

2. Minor’s Trust

A Minor’s Trust manages and protects assets for a child to secure their welfare. Some Minor’s Trusts provide funds for a child during their childhood, while others don’t provide any funds until they reach adulthood.

3. Intestacy Minor’s Trust

Where someone dies without a will it is known as intestacy. Any money from the estate for a child under 18 will need to be held in trust for them until they reach 18 years of age. As there is no will, the Trustee will administer the trust according to Trust laws.

4. Superannuation Minor’s Trust

A Superannuation Minor’s Trust is established by your superannuation trustee after your death to manage a portion or all of your super for the benefit of a child.

5. Special Disability Trust

The Special Disability Trust is a trust that helps family members and guardians provide for the future of family members with a severe disability. You can set up a Special Disability Trust in your will, or while you are alive, to benefit your relative with a severe disability. 

6. Inter-vivos Trust

You can set up an Inter-vivos Trust during your lifetime to manage assets or investments and support beneficiaries, such as family members. Trust beneficiaries might include a family member with a disability, young children you would like to provide for, or your favorite charity. You can tailor the rules of the trust according to your specific needs and wishes.

7. Life Interest Trust

A Life Interest Trust is designed to hold money or other assets for one or more beneficiaries for the rest of their life (known as ‘life beneficiaries or life tenants’). You can establish this trust while you are alive (inter-vivos) or as part of your will  (testamentary). After the death of the life beneficiaries, other beneficiaries (known as ‘residuary beneficiaries), will receive the remaining trust assets.

8. Injury and Compensation Trust

An Injury and Compensation Trust protects and manages money paid in compensation for a beneficiary’s injury or loss. For example, compensation through WorkCover or the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).

9. Private Charitable Trusts

A Private Charitable Trust allows you to choose which charities or causes you want to support.It can be set up while you are alive or through your estate after you die. We are experts in creating and managing Private Charitable Trusts.

Questions and guidance

Speak to our team for guidance specific to your circumstances.

Fee summary

Trust administration Fee
Capital commission (gross value of trust)

5.5%

Income commission (gross income received)

6.6%

Charitable Trusts

Charitable Trust type Administration fee
State Trustees Australia Foundation

Up to 1.056% per year

Private Charitable Trusts

Up to 1.056% per year

Commercial trusts

Charged in accordance with the amounts set out in the trust deed (or other governing document) as agreed with the client.

Note: The same rates apply to agencies, court-appointed administrations, statutory administrations and other administrations.

Trust documentation: Fees for legal services, including preparation of trust documentation, are charged according to the hourly legal services rates.

Free resources

Guide

Trustee Services brochure

Download
Guide

Understanding Minor Trusts

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Guide

Your guide to buying a motor vehicle through a Trust

Download

Frequently asked questions

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Trusts

A trust is a legal relationship set up to look after assets for a person or organisation. These assets can include property, shares and money. A trustee manages the trust’s assets. They are responsible for keeping the assets safe. The people or organisation that benefit from the trust are called beneficiaries.

People usually set up trusts to manage assets to provide long-term benefits for their loved ones or for a charity.

This depends on your situation, wishes and goals. Different types of trusts are used for different reasons. You can use a trust to protect a young child’s inheritance, or to provide for the future of a vulnerable family member, such as a person with disability.
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A trustee is responsible for managing the assets in a trust. They must administer the trust in line with the rules in the trust instrument and the law, and they must always have the best interests of the beneficiaries in mind. A trust instrument can be a person’s will, a trust deed or a court order.

Where someone dies without a will it is known as intestacy. A grant is obtained from the Court (called ‘letters of administration’). Any money from the estate for a child under 18 will need to be held in trust for them until they reach 18 years of age.

A Trustee has many duties and obligations, including:

  • Acting in accordance with the trust rules, trust law and compliance obligations like accounting, investment planning and tax.

 

  • Identifying and protecting trust assets.

 

  • Providing outcomes that keep the beneficiaries’ best interests at the heart of decisions while complying with any rules or constraints contained in the trust authority (the will, Trust deed or court order and the law).

 

  • Distributing trust income and assets in accordance with the trust authority.

 

  • Providing financial reporting on the trust’s assets and distributions.

 

  • Maintaining full and accurate records of the trust’s activities.
    Remaining impartial regarding the needs of beneficiaries.

Subject to the type of trust and its rules, as a trustee, we can help beneficiaries in a range of ways, including:

  • Setting up regular payments from the trust to assist with living expenses.

 

  • Investing trust funds to generate income or future growth opportunities.

 

  • Collecting income from trust investments, such as interest, dividends or rent.

 

  • Providing information for Centrelink and similar agencies when needed.

 

With our in-house tax, legal and finance expertise, we can fulfil all the duties and responsibilities required as your trustee.

Testamentary Trusts

Yes, a life interest can be set up through a Testamentary Trust. The trust could hold money or other assets for one or more beneficiaries for the rest of their life (known as ‘life beneficiaries or life tenants’). After the death of the life beneficiaries, other beneficiaries (known as ‘residuary beneficiaries), will receive the remaining trust assets.  

For example, a Trust may allow a beneficiary for the rest of their life: 

 

  • To live in a property 
  • Receive income from invested money 
  • Receive rental income from a property. 

Depending on the circumstances, the Trustee may also be able to apply the capital of the Trust for the needs of the beneficiary. Or in other cases, the capital is preserved and only income can be used.  

There are many types of assets that can be held in a Trust, including:

  • Investments

 

  • Land or property

 

  • Cash

 

  • Other valuable belongings such as paintings, furniture, or jewellery.

There are a number of reasons you might create a Trust for a child, including:

  • When a child inherits assets from an estate and the will says that their inheritance must be held in Trust until they reach a particular

age.

  • A family member has set aside funds for the child, such as an education fund.

 

  • The child is paid compensation for the death of a relative.

 

  • The child is paid superannuation benefits from a family member who has died.

 

  • An insurance company or the courts agree that compensation money should be paid to a child for an injury or for a civil or criminal act.

Inter-vivos Trust

Yes, you can set up a life interest through an inter-vivos trust.  A life-interest benefit means that a person can benefit from an asset for the rest of their life, however, they won’t actually inherit it. For example, a Trust may allow a beneficiary to live in a property, earn interest on invested money, or receive rental income from a property for the rest of their life.
You may wish to set up a Trust to manage funds for the rest of your own life. This means you don’t have to worry about investing and managing those funds.

Injury and Compensation Trust

Injury and Compensation Trusts are usually set up under a court order or settlement. They are set up when funds have been paid to someone for personal injury and compensation. Often, a Trust needs to hold these funds for the person who was injured. This person is called the beneficiary.

Injury and Compensation Trusts are usually set up from a lump sum payment, including:

  • Payments from accident compensation, for example the Transport Accident Commission (TAC)

 

  • Payments from court settlements

Superannuation Minor’s Trust

Dependent children (under 18 years old) of the super fund member who has died, can be the beneficiaries of a Superannuation Minor’s Trust.

The superannuation fund trustee will decide who should be the Trustee of the Superannuation Minor’s Trust.

They may choose adult family members of the beneficiary or sometimes a Trustee company, such as State Trustees.

Special Disability Trust

A person with a severe disability who meets certain Centrelink or Veteran’s Affairs requirements can be a beneficiary of a Special Disability Trust. The person might have severe physical, intellectual, psychiatric or behavioural disability or medical conditions.

Anyone can contribute to a Special Disability Trust and there is no limit on the funds or assets a Special Disability Trust can receive.  Close family members who contribute can be eligible for Centrelink or Veterans Affairs concessions or gifting exemptions up to the first $500,000 for eligible donors. The contribution of a property for the principal residence of the beneficiary may also attract concessional treatment for capital gains tax or stamp duty.

 

The principal beneficiary themselves can contribute from an inheritance or a superannuation death benefit (but other funds like savings or compensation cannot be contributed).

All of the income of the Special Disability Trust is excluded from the social security income test for the principal beneficiary.  Assets up to the concessional asset threshold set by the Federal Government each year will also be excluded from the principal beneficiary’s income support or pension assets test.  But amounts over the concessional asset threshold in the trust (if any) will be assessed.  This means that the principal beneficiary’s support payments or pension are affected as little as possible.

Assets that generate income such as cash, shares, managed funds and rental properties can be contributed. Assets that provide care and accommodation for the principal beneficiary, such as a house or unit they live in, modified vehicle or wheelchair etc. can also be contributed.  When the Special Disability Trust ends, funds or assets that then remain are distributed in accordance with instructions the contributor nominates at the time they contribute.

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State Trustees Limited operates on the lands of Traditional Custodians. We acknowledge their history, culture and Elders past, present and emerging. State Trustees is committed to cultivating inclusive environments for staff and clients. We celebrate and value people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, cultures and abilities.

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