Why You Need to Be Careful When Considering a Family Trust for Your Successors

Posted on: 21 July 2017

Do you tend to avoid paperwork issues like the plague? Many people like to live this type of informal life and shy away from keeping records or other important documents if they can. Yet this is not the right type of approach when you're getting near to the end of your life, especially when it comes to handling your estate. Why do you need to be very careful if you are a paper hater?

Are You Up-To-Date?

While you may understand how important it is to create a will so that your successors are taken care of properly and assets are distributed according to your wishes, it's not enough to simply create this document and forget it. You may well have been through this process some time ago and given all the relevant instructions to an executor. However, do you know where that document is right now? How long ago did you create it and is the data up-to-date — and in particular, what about any family trusts?

The Value of a Family Trust

When a trust like this is developed in Australia, it can be a great investment vehicle for the family. If you have some significant assets, they can be placed within one of these trusts and protected for the long term. They will be free from any external claims and you'll be able to use them to develop some tax savings.

You may have been advised to create a trust, which in turn involves one of those dreaded documents, known as a trust deed. This is probably one of the most important documents, as it cannot be easily replaced. If it cannot be found at the right time in the future, big problems could materialise.

Modifying Your Approach

Conversely, you may not have considered a discretionary trust before, but it might sound like a good idea now. Have a word with an investment strategy adviser to see if this could be a great approach for your family. You might then need to create the trust, together with that all-important deed and must then remember to look after the documents.

How to Secure Everything

These and other crucial financial or legal documents should be grouped together and kept in a safe place. A lot of people will rent out a safety deposit box from their bank and give the access details to a probate lawyer. This expert will also be able to help you draft the documents in the beginning and provide you with ongoing advice about their security.