In this edition of 'It depends', associate Sacha Robinson talks about when you should update your discretionary trust deed.

Sacha, along with Nathan Rutherford and Steven Cawood, will be covering this topic in more detail during their session 'Trust deed update – how to know ...', at our Annual Adviser Conference on 21 and 22 March. Register now to attend live at Sofitel Brisbane or virtually.

Video transcript

Welcome to today's edition of It Depends. At the Annual Adviser Conference on the 21st and 22nd of March this year, Nathan Rutherford, Steven Cawood and I will be running a session on how to know when to update your trust deeds. Today, and at that session, I will be talking about how to know when to update your discretionary trust deed.

When should I update my discretionary trust deed?

It depends. Today, I will take you through a few scenarios where you should consider updating your trust deed.

Are there any tax reasons to update your trust deed?

There are a number of tax reasons why you might want to update your trust deed. For example, you will want to check and make sure that the trustee has appropriate streaming powers and also check the definition of income in the trust deed. Due to the Bamford decision, which was handed down in 2010, most trust deeds from around before 2010 to 2011 will need to be updated for tax reasons.

Are there other reasons to update your trust deed?

There are a number of non-tax reasons why you may want to consider updating your trust deed. You should review the beneficiaries of the trust and consider whether any additional people or entities should also be beneficiaries. For example, is the trustee a beneficiary? And if not, should the trustee be a beneficiary? Lastly, you should review the provisions dealing with the appointment of the trustee and consider whether any changes need to be made to ensure the succession of the trust passes as your client wishes.

What do I do next?

If you're interested in learning more about this, please come along to the Annual Adviser Conference. My colleagues, Nathan and Steven will also be talking about updating unit trust deeds and self-managed super funds. Alternatively, please contact me or a member of our team to discuss.

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