Monday, October 22, 2012

The “do nothing” approach to deed updates

During our recent master class seminars on trusts, one specific issue that was addressed related to updating family trusts after the Bamford decision and related legislation.

The post today is the 2nd in a series of 4 posts via the following video link under the heading ‘The “do nothing” approach to deed updates’. If you would like a link to the video please let me know.

As with other video posts, for those that do not have easy access to the streaming or would otherwise prefer to read the transcript, this is set out below -

There are obvious advantages to ‘doing nothing’.

From a cost perspective for a client, you would intuitively think that’s probably the best outcome for them. Our only asterisk that we would put next to that is it does put enormous amount of pressure back on your practice and your team if someone needs to be sitting down and reading the deed.

Even if you've had the same provider for many years, you can almost guarantee that they will have changed their document, and they won't necessarily be able to tell you at what point at time they changed it.

Even if they could tell you, it probably doesn't absolve you under your insurance policy to say that everyone before a point in time will have this style of deed. Someone has to sit down and look at that. Which then means, according to the Tax Office, you can't just be churning out standard resolutions. You've actually got to have a tailored resolution that fits the particular deed and the particular income profile for the particular year.

So yes, the do nothing is attractive on a number of levels, but you need to be aware that it does add compliance costs.

You will see there's a common theme to all of these 3 choices.

Ultimately, our positioning is ‘don’t shoot the messenger’. This is something that has been imposed on us from Canberra. It means the cost of running a trust is more. So first one is to do nothing.

The next post will look at the second main approach we are seeing in this area.

Until next week.