Trusts - Shanahans Law
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Establishment & Administration

Legally Protect your Assets

A trust is a way of legally protecting some or all of your assets, for yourself, your family or other people. We can help you can put different assets into your trust, including your family home. We often provide assistance and support for clients looking to create family trusts. Forming a trust is an important decision, we will make sure that it is established correctly, for the right reasons, and managed well.

Make sure your trust is established correctly, for the right reasons, and well managed.

How does a Trust work?


Assets entered into a family trust are no longer legally owned by you, the assets are owned by the trustees and are generally for the benefit of our family members.

There can be benefits to no longer personally owning an asset. A family trust may be useful for:

  • Protecting assets against claims and creditors, like protecting a family home from the potential failure in business
  • Setting aside money for special occasions like a child or grandchild’s education
  • Ensuring your children, not their partners, get their inheritances
  • Managing the risk around unwanted estate claims when you die.

Family trusts are created to look after our assets and benefit members of our family beyond our own lifetime.


After the trust has been established your assets can be sold into the trust. Although the trust wants to buy your house the trust has no money. How do we get the trust to own the asset? We lend the trust the money in a ‘paper’ based transaction. The house is sold to the trust, and the trust now owes you a house-sized debt. Debt that the trust owes you is still counted as a personal asset. You need to get rid of the debt so we can achieve the goal of owning less in our name. The way we do this is through ‘gifting’. We will work with you to figure out how much you can gift to the trust. Although this process sounds somewhat confusing, don’t panic! We will walk you through each step of the process, explain everything and ensure that you are properly informed to make the right decisions.


Who is Involved with the Trust


Generally speaking, there are several roles that pertain to establishing a trust. These are:

  • The settlors – the person, people or company who create the trust
  • Trustees – people who manage the trust. A settlor can also be a trustee. Its a good idea to have an independent party as one trustee and Shanahans Law can act as a professional trustee for your trust
  • Beneficiaries – are the people who benefit from the trust. These are usually family members.

In some instances, a trust will have multiple settlors and multiple trustees. Trustees can be added and removed from the trust and the trust deed states who has the power to do that.

A benefit of the trust set up is that a trust doesn’t normally end with the settlor’s death. This means the trust will exist and continue to be available to the beneficiaries long after you are gone.


Setting up a Trust


To establish a trust, we will help you set up a legal document known as the Trust Deed. This will specify who the settlors, trustees, and beneficiaries are. We will assist you with asset transfer, which is deciding what assets should be moved into the trust. We need to work out how much you can afford to gift to the trust and still cover your liabilities. We can manage your trust going forward and also act as an indepentant trustee. Give us a call today on (09) 827-2783 to get started with establishing your trust.

Need help setting up a trust? Give us a call on (09) 827-2783