Monday, October 31, 2011

Why do so many people still talk about Richstar?

The interest from recent posts about accessing assets of a family trust on marriage breakdown reminded me of the Richstar decision.

It has been a few years since the very well publicised decision in Richstar was handed down. The decision does however remain an interim one and there does not seem to be any clear indication as to if or when proceedings might be restarted.

For those unfamiliar with the exact decision of Richstar, please email me and I can provide a summary.

While there have been a number of cases that have criticised various aspects of Richstar, it still seems to be generally the case that most commentators strongly recommend that the broad principles in Richstar be considered as part of any trust structuring exercise (whether it be the establishment of a new trust or the variation of a pre-existing trust).

Pragmatically, it may also be that part of the reason that Richstar has remained so relevant despite the fact that it is only an interim decision of a single judge from Western Australia is that the judge involved has now gone on to become the Chief Justice of the High Court.

Until next week.