Trusts Frequently Asked Questions 

The questions below address the most common questions relating to trusts:

If, after reading these you have any further questions relating to trusts please contact your nearest branch of NSW Trustee and Guardian on 1300 364 103 or fill out our contact form.

1. What is a trust?

A trust is a relationship based on confidence between you (the person creating the trust), a person holding property (‘the Trustee’), and a person to receive benefit from the property (the beneficiary).

2. How is a trust created?

A Trust can be created by:

  • a Will: this is known as a testamentary trust and becomes effective from your death;
  • a deed or Declaration made in your lifetime.

In both cases, assets are put in the control of the trustee.

3. Why would you need to create a trust?

Trusts are created to:

  • provide for ongoing support for a beneficiary;
  • provide tax effective estate planning;
  • benefit charity.

4. What is a trustee?

A trustee is a person or organisation administering a trust on behalf of the person who created the trust. Trusts may be set up to provide ongoing support for a beneficiary under your Will, to provide tax effective estate planning, or to benefit a charity. Alternatively, trusts may be set up as result of awards made by the NSW Courts.

5. What type of trusts may be suitable for me?

There are many different kinds of trusts available. Finding the correct trust for your needs is a matter of matching your requirements with the right one. Our experienced trust, legal and taxation officers are able to advise you on the type of trust to suit your particular needs and circumstances.

6. If I am a Trustee can I hand over my responsibilities?

The responsibility of a trustee is ongoing, complex and involves many obligations. If you’re a trustee or executor, you can approach NSW Trustee and Guardian to take over the administration from you. This will mean the beneficiaries will get the benefit of a professional Trustee for the term of the trust.


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