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Family Trusts: A Plain English Guide for Australian Families, 5th Edition


A Plain English Guide for Australian Families

With practical information on:

  • The pros and cons of family trusts
  • Different types of trusts
  • Drawing up a trust deed
  • Estate planning and philanthropic trusts
  • How family trusts and their beneficiaries are taxed
  • Winding up a trust

Family Trusts, 5th Edition, is a manual for ordinary Australian families and small business proprietors. It provides readers with the information they need when deciding whether to set up a family trust, and discusses the advantages and disadvantages. With this knowledge, ordinary Australians will be equipped to discuss the trust process with their professional advisers, accountants and financial planners.

This fifth edition of Family Trusts has been fully revised and updated and includes the latest changes to the Australian tax system. This book discusses all aspects of setting up and running a family trust including the qualifications needed by trustees, the types of trusts available, the risks of borrowing by trustees, the rights of beneficiaries, and the protection of assets against creditors, bankruptcy and divorce.

NICK RENTON was a consulting actuary and writer, well known for his professional guides on meetings procedure and voluntary associations, and for his many books and articles on investment, business, taxation and retirement issues. Nick passed away in August 2010.

ROD CALDWELL worked as a tax accountant for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for 20 years before becoming a tertiary level lecturer in taxation and management accounting. Rod has written four other books on Australian business accounting and tax law. Visit his website at

About the authors v

Preface ix

1 The concept of a trust 1

2 Modern family trusts -- advantages and disadvantages 11

3 Types of family trusts 35

4 The trustee 45

5 Administrative aspects of a trust 71

6 Income tax 99

7 Capital gains tax 119

8 Taxation of family trusts 135

9 Social security 163

10 Investment decisions 181

11 Other types of trusts 187

12 Other issues to consider 211

Appendix A: Wills and trusts compared and contrasted 241

Appendix B: Differences between trust deeds and powers of attorney 243

Appendix C: Tax rates 2014-15 245

Glossary 249

Index 277