It is often overlooked that where trusts (typically family trusts) exist, a substantial proportion of assets may be held in these trusts and controlled by the trustee/s.
It is of vital importance in the estate planning process that;
- The assets are identified
- The beneficiaries are identified
- Those who control the trust (i.e. trustees and appointors) are suitable and that their succession is planned for.
Family trust assets are non-estate (non-Will) assets, the distribution of which is in accordance with the terms of the relevant Trust Deed and at the discretion of the nominated trustee/s.
Ultimate control of your family trusts rests with the appointor/guardian who can dismiss or elect the trustee and it is accordingly important to confirm the current appointor/guardian provisions in your trust and to make appropriate arrangements for succession of control in order to achieve your legacy objectives.