Planning to establish a trust in Australia? So, first and foremost, what exactly is trust?

Piggy bank, dollar bag on a laptop stock photo

A trust is a legal agreement in which one person or group acts on behalf of another to manage assets for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries. A trustee is an individual or organization that manages your company on behalf of other people. The trustee, who can be a person or a business, is ultimately responsible for all financial matters related to the trust.

Discover what trust is and how to establish one.

How Do I Register A Trust In Australia?

Beneficiaries’ business assets are often protected by trust structures, which can be expensive and take a long time to set up. The trustee is in charge of figuring out how the assets of the company will be given to the beneficiaries.

Setting up a trust effectively requires diligence, research, and experience. You should talk to a certified expert who can explain the process and help you figure out what licenses and permits you need.

Here are some steps for registering a trust:

Step 1: Choose Trust Assets

It is important to list all of the assets that will be put into the trust, along with their current values.

Step 2: Select Trustee (s)

The trustee can be an individual or a bank. Think carefully about this, because this person or group will have a lot of legal power and control over the trust’s assets.

Step 3: Select Recipients

You should make a list of everyone and everything that should get paid out. Specify the relative share of the estate that will go to each beneficiary.

Step 4: Draft The Trust Deed

The guidelines for your fund and the authority of the trustee will be laid forth in a trust deed. Fund goals, initial trust assets, beneficiaries, benefit payment schedule (lump sum or income stream), trust termination provisions, and account management guidelines are all spelled out in the trust deed.

All trustees must sign and date the trust deed, and it must be executed following the laws of the relevant state or territory and reviewed and modified as necessary. Trust deeds are complicated documents that need the help of estate planning lawyers and accountants.

Step 5: Stamping

If the trust deed is registered in a state or territory, the trustor may have to pay stamp duty on the document. Any attorney or certified public accountant in your state or territory should be able to help you get your documents stamped.

Step 6: Register A Business

The trust will need a business name, an Australian Business Number (ABN), a Tax File Number (TFN), and a Tax File Name (BN), much like any other legal form of doing business in Australia. A trust may need to be registered as a corporation.

Step 7: Get A Bank Account

A bank account in the name of the trustee is required once the trust has been created. Before opening an account, the bank could ask for certain background information about the trustee(s) and any other interested parties.

Step 8: Commence Trust Activity

After setting up a bank account, a trust can start taking in assets and making investments based on the terms of the trust deed.

Fundamentals Of Trust

It is important to remember the following when establishing trust:


The trustee bears all legal responsibility for the trust’s business dealings. In some ways, a trust set up with a corporation as a trustee can hide the true owners of the trust’s assets from the beneficiaries.

Types Of Trusts

The following trusts are most commonly used for asset protection and investment:


Depending on the type of trust used, a beneficiary may have different rights to capital and income. Depending on the type of trust used, a beneficiary may have different rights to capital and income. In a discretionary trust, the trustee has full control over how income and principal are given to the trust’s beneficiaries. Because of this, the beneficiary of such a trust can’t demand that the trust income or principal be given to them right away. The trust’s beneficiary may be guaranteed a certain amount of income, principal, or both.

Fixed trusts

The trustee holds the assets of the trust for the benefit of those who are named beneficiaries. Each beneficiary will get a set amount of capital and income from the trust, and the trustee won’t have to make any decisions on their own.

Unit trusts

Shares of stock are given to shareholders in the same way that “units” in a fixed trust show who the beneficiaries are and how much they have invested in the trust. The recipients are commonly referred to as “unitholders.” Unit trusts are a common way to set up investments in real estate, investment vehicles (like managed funds), and joint ventures. The units held in the trust can be sold by beneficiaries to new investors. Even though there are no legal limits on the number of units or unitholders, the way a trust is taxed can be very different depending on how big it is and what it does.

Discretionary Trusts

This type of trust is often called a “family trust” because it is often used to plan for taxes and protect family assets. In a discretionary trust, the beneficiaries (sometimes called “objects”) do not have a right to any of the trust’s income or assets. Instead, it is up to the trustee to decide whether or not each beneficiary gets any income or capital and, if so, how much.

While a trustee of a discretionary trust technically has the right to choose not to pay income or capital to a beneficiary, this is rarely done for tax reasons. Since a beneficiary’s only interest is for the trustee to take into account when making decisions, a discretionary trust is appealing because the trustee has more control and freedom over how assets and income are used.

Bare Trusts

A bare trust has only one trustee, one legally able beneficiary, and no named beneficiaries. All funds that want tax breaks must meet certain standards set by federal law. These funds are called “complying funds” because they meet these standards and obligations. This gives the beneficiary full control over the trustee, or “nominee.” Nominee shareholdings, in which one party holds shares on behalf of another who does not wish to be named, are a popular type of bare trust.

Hybrid Trusts

These trusts combine the flexibility of discretionary arrangements with the stability of established ones. The trustee can issue “special units” to settle fixed capital or income entitlements.

Testamentary Trusts

Trusts created in a will are known as “inter vivos” trusts because they don’t take effect until the testator dies. This type of trust is usually established in a will when the testator has little children or children with special needs and wants to ensure that they are taken care of after they die.

Charitable Trusts

These trusts can be used as a legal structure to make it easier to set up charitable trusts that get better tax treatment and give donors tax deductions.

Superannuation Trusts

In Australia, retirement savings accounts are managed by trusts. The deed (or, in some cases, specific acts of Parliament) sets the rules for figuring out what each member is entitled to and, in some cases, how much each member must contribute. However, the trustee usually has the final say on things like how the fund is invested and who gets the death benefit. One example is the “preservation” condition, which says that an A member won’t get their benefit until they meet a certain condition, like turning 65.


The term “trust” encompasses a wide range of legal entities, each of which has its own unique set of rules and tax implications. But at its core, a trust is a private legal structure in which assets like stocks, bonds, cash, real estate, antiques, and fine art are held in an account and managed by one or more people for the benefit of another person or group.

Trusts are now a common way to organize finances and share income in a way that minimizes taxes and saves money for future generations. Because trusts cannot be changed, all legal connections and obligations must be made clear.

To know more, visit the trust register and get one now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *