Property Trust setups:

Trusts were once only used by the wealthy, but in recent years, many Australians from all walks of life have begun to use them to hold their assets. Because of the tax benefits, asset protection, and estate planning advantages that trusts provide, they are becoming a more common ownership structure for Australian property investors. However to understand the benefits in more detail let us first talk about what trusts really are.

Trust, Briefly Explained

A trust is a financial structure in which one person or a group of persons own assets on behalf of another. It basically means that one individual (or corporation) will manage an asset such as money or property and divide the wealth generated by the asset to the other members of the trust.

Property investors utilize three types of trusts: unit trusts, family discretionary trusts, and hybrid trusts. The assets owned by a unit trust are divided into segments known as “units” in a unit trust structure. The trust beneficiaries then possess these “units” in the same way that shareholders own stock in a corporation: their share of revenue and expenses is proportional to the number of “units” they own.

The most frequent sort of trust for property investors is a family discretionary trust. This type of arrangement, also known as a family trust or a discretionary trust, is frequently set up to hold a family’s assets. The income from such assets can then be distributed to family members. The trustee can distribute the trust’s income and assets to the beneficiaries at their discretion, allowing family members to benefit and achieve tax advantages.

A hybrid trust combines the features of a unit trust with those of a family discretionary trust. It enables beneficiaries to own units in the trust while also allowing the trustee to distribute revenue as they see fit.

Why should you invest in real estate through a trust?

The following are the most significant benefits of purchasing an investment property through a trust structure:

Asset protection

One of the most important elements of a trust structure is that the investment property is held in the trustee’s name rather than your own, which means that the trust’s assets are usually shielded from creditors if one of the beneficiaries goes bankrupt or issued.

When it comes to discretionary trusts, which are the most typical alternative for property investors, the separation of legal and beneficial ownership can provide “high levels of asset protection for beneficiaries.”

Because the trust property is separate from their own, the trust assets are often safeguarded if they are sued by creditors.

Tax benefits and flexibility

In terms of taxation, trust income is normally taxed in the hands of the beneficiaries if the trust is properly managed. In the case of a discretionary trust, this means that the trustee can choose where the trust assets’ revenue is applied each year. Based on the conditions of the trust deed, the trustee can pick who receives the income.

A trustee may decide not to transfer income to a beneficiary who is already paying a high marginal rate of tax in favor of a beneficiary who pays a lower, or even zero, marginal rate of tax. Discretionary trusts, for example, can take advantage of a variety of capital gains tax breaks.”

Each year, the trustee of a family trust can split the income between the beneficiaries in the most tax-efficient way possible. A 50 percent capital gains tax (CGT) deduction is available if the investment property is retained by a trust for more than a year.

Estate planning

Every trust is governed by a trust deed, which lays out the regulations that the trustee must follow as well as what will happen to each beneficiary’s share of the trust’s assets after they die. This streamlines the estate planning process and can help families avoid ugly court conflicts.

Careful estate planning, could involve the use of testamentary trust. Testamentary trusts can be devised in a manner where all assets of a deceased individual would be transferred to a trust and thereafter administered within the guiding rules (Deed) of such a trust.

Some trusts can let you transfer assets on to future generations without paying high taxes or having to deal with estate disputes.

If you do need assistance with the forming of a property trust, kindly get in touch with us and we shall setup a no-obligation appointment with one of our accountants.

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