Are you covered?
Is property held within your Family Trust? If so, you may want to double check your insurance policies to make sure you have the correct cover. You should be clear that the insurance covers the cost of rebuilding or repairing the house. This may mean an increase in premium, but as a Trustee you are responsible for protecting not only the Trustee interests, but all the beneficiaries of the Trust.
Is it yours or the Trusts?
It's not uncommon for a Family Trust to have a gifting program in place, where the Trust may owe a debt to you. You should take the time to review this and think about:
- Gifting the balance in a one off sum
- Gifting most of the debt but leaving a small amount in your name for leverage
- Continuing to gift at $13,500 to keep eligibility for a rest home allowance
Will they know what you want?
Time changes a lot. Our personal circumstances will shift, and this will potentially change what we want to happen with our assets and those of the Trust. For this reason, every five years you should review your Memorandum of Wishes so should you pass on, there will be clear instructions left regarding the Trust.
Have you kept good records?
Our last little tip is a really simple one. Keep accurate records and make sure you make clear resolutions for the Trust. Include all Trustees in decision making (including Independent Trustees) and you will have taken a good step towards a sound Family Trust.
For any guidance on the above, or if you want to put any of these tips into action, don't hesitate to contact us. Each Family Trust will have individual circumstances which we will be able to assist and advise you on more formally.
Find out more about our Family Law or Trust & Estate Law services.