Tuesday, May 31, 2022

(my) spouse** and the family trust

Previous posts have looked at various aspects of what a 'spouse' is, particularly for family law purposes.

Often, however a definition of a spouse under a discretionary trust deed is crafted in a way that is materially narrower than what might otherwise be the case for either family law or tax law purposes.

In particular, if a wide definition is adopted under a trust deed, it can potentially mean that even short term de facto spouses may have some rights as a beneficiary of the trust, particularly in relation to a trustee's obligation to provide an account to beneficiaries of their administration of trust assets.

Where a narrow definition under a trust deed is adopted, there would normally still be the ability for the trustee or appointor to nominate people who do not otherwise satisfy the definition of spouse under the deed, by way of a specific process on a case by case basis.

As usual, please contact me if you would like access to any of the content mentioned in this post.

** for the trainspotters, the title today is riffed from the Blues Brothers song ‘Groove me’.

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