Monday, July 30, 2012

What roles do ‘quasi-ownership’ arrangements play in succession planning

As set out in earlier posts, and with thanks to the Television Education Network, today’s post addresses the issue of ‘What roles do ‘quasi-ownership’ arrangements play in succession planning ?’ at the following link -

As usual, a transcript of the presentation for those that cannot (or choose not) to view the presentation is below –

This is probably a really developing area in terms of what we've seen in recent times, because out of the GFC, the changes to trust law that many of us have experienced first hand in terms of the impact of relationship breakdowns and/or the intergenerational transfer that goes wrong; you find in many family scenarios they are effectively wanting to, if not fully rule from the grave, at least do a very good impersonation of it.

In that scenario, as much as we've spoken earlier today about secured loan arrangements and actually transferring assets down and securing those under a loan arrangement; a more ‘bespoke’ version of that is never having the asset leave the master trust in the first place and using tools such as letters of wishes or the way in which the trustee company constitution is crafted to allow the underlying beneficiaries to have indirect access to the assets, whether they be business assets or investment assets.

Beneficiaries will probably still have to meet KPIs in relation to their performance and running of those assets, but they never actually get the physical ownership or the legal control of them.

It may be overtime that beneficiaries do ultimately receive legal ownership or legal control, but for an interim period, which may last for many years, what this final form of structure does is effectively keep the assets within the initial master trust structure and really only have a synthetic or notional allocation of assets made, at a trustee level, for the underlying beneficiaries.

Until next week.