When was the last time you gave any thought to your Family Trust? Here’s what you might not know about how to look after it successfully…
It’s not enough to simply establish a family trust, like any venture it will need to be tended to if you want it to succeed. Increasingly we are seeing family trusts struggle to perform the task they are set up to do – protect your family’s assets now and in the future.
Family trusts are being challenged successfully in the Courts due to a failure by trustees to properly administer the trust. If the affairs of a family trust have not been administered appropriately, the Courts are likely to consider it an ‘alter ego’, ‘sham’ or ‘illusory’ trust and allow creditors to attack the assets of the trust as if they were personal assets.
As a trustee, you have a number of duties – one of which is to meet with the other trustees at least annually to review the position of the family trust (ie. the annual trustees meeting). This meeting is essential in order to maintain the integrity of the trust.
We recommend that you set an annual date for the trustees meeting and make that happen – without fail! The meeting need not be in person – a conference call or Skype meeting can be just as effective.
At the very least, your meeting should cover the following agenda items:
Sound like a lot of work? Wakefields offers a Trust Administration Support service. If you would like to know more about this service, or have any questions about your family trust and how you administer it, give us a call on 04 970 3600.