A One Stop Shop for Family Law in Australia
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If assets are held in a Trust, an important issue is how that Trust is dealt with in a Property Settlement.
A Trust is an arrangement where assets are held in the name of a Trustee on behalf of the Beneficiaries named in the Trust Deed.
When deciding an Application for Property Settlement, the Court has a broad discretion as to what it may find to be the property of the parties.
The Court has frequently decided that assets held in a Family Trust are to be treated as property to be divided between the parties.
A Family Trust, often a Discretionary Family Trust, is sometimes used as:
A beneficiary of a Trust is not the legal owner of assets of a Trust until they are distributed by the Trustee.
When deciding whether the assets of a Family Trust should be considered property and divided as part of the property settlement, the Court will consider the:
The Court has a wide discretion to make orders in relation to a trust.
The Court can order that a beneficiary relinquish their interest in a trust, and that the trust deed be amended reflect this.
Michelle Beatty, Senior Lawyer
Other Questions answered in the Property Settlement Section
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