FAQS Trusts

Q.  How much does it cost to set up a trust?

Q.  How long does it take to set up a trust?

Q.  How do I order a trust through Shelfcom and what is the process?

Q.  What types of trusts can I set up through Shelfcom?

Q.  What are some of the benefits of setting up a Discretionary (Family) Trust?

Q.  What can I name my trust and are there any restrictions?

Q.  What is the role of the Settlor?

Q.  Who can be the Settlor and can they be a Beneficiary?

Q.  What is the settlement sum and how much should this be?

Q.  What is the role of the Trustee?

Q.  What is the role of the Beneficiaries?

Q.  What is the role of the Appointor?

Q.  Who prepares your deeds and legal documents?

Q.  What are the main differences between a Discretionary Trust and a Unit Trust?

Q.  Is it necessary to have my trust deeds stamped?


Q.  How much does it cost to set up a trust?

Depending on the type of trust you require, our discretionary (family) trusts are $385.00 Inc GST and unit trusts are $485.00 Inc GST.

Our fee includes the preparation of your trust deed in triplicate; these are professionally bound and ready for you to sign. Upon your request, we arrange stamping with Revenue SA at no extra charge and email you a PDF copy of your trust deed.

This is an all-inclusive fee, which means you pay just the one price for our service. We are a highly service orientated company and encourage you to contact us at any time.

Q.  How long does it take to set up a trust?

We can usually prepare your new trust on the day that we receive your instructions, and courier or express post these to you the following day.

Q.  How do I order a trust through Shelfcom and what is the process?

To order your new discretionary (family) trust or unit trust online, simply click here.

Alternatively, you can download our order form, complete and email or fax this back to us.

As soon as we receive your instructions, we review the information that you have provided to us and if we have any queries or require further information, we will contact you immediately. We then prepare your trust deed, and these are usually couriered or sent by express post to you within 24 hours of receiving your instructions.

Our trust deeds can also be tailored to suit your specific situation. Please contact us if you have any special requirements and our solicitors will liaise with you directly.

Q.  What types of trusts can I set up through Shelfcom?

  • Discretionary (Family) Trusts
  • Unit Trusts
  • Bare Trusts
  • Hybrid Trusts

The most common types of trusts that we prepare are the Discretionary (Family) Trusts and Unit Trusts. If you require a Bare Trust, Hybrid Trust, or a trust not listed on our website, please contact us and our solicitors will discuss this with you directly. Our solicitors can tailor all of our deeds and documents to suit your specific situation.

Q.  What are some of the benefits of setting up a Discretionary (Family) Trust?

  • Protection of assets and with a corporate trustee there is limited liability.
  • Flexible tax planning including the ability to distribute income and profits to family members and other entities.
  • To aid with estate planning.

Q.  What can I name my trust and are there any restrictions?

There are no restrictions on words or phrases, that you can use for the name of your trust and the name is entirely your choice.

Q.  What is the role of the Settlor?

This person donates a small sum of money to set up the trust. They receive no benefit from the trust and play no part in its administration.

Q.  Who can be the Settlor and can they also be a Beneficiary?

For tax reasons, it is best practice to have an unrelated family friend or your accountant as the Settlor. The Settlor should be an unrelated party who will not be a beneficiary and who has nothing else to do with the trust.

By segregating the role of the Settlor, helps prevent possible breaches as outlined in the trust deed. In addition, the validity and consequently the existence of the trust deed can be legally determined if it is ever called into question.

Q.  What is the settlement sum and how much should this be?

This is the sum of money donated by the Settlor, and the amount usually ranges from $10.00 to $100.00.

Q.  What is the role of the Trustee?

  • This person or company runs the trust.
  • The Trustee holds the assets and may earn income from them.
  • The Trustee does not own the assets although its name is used as the holder of the assets (the assets really belong to the beneficiaries).
  • The Trustee uses the assets for the beneficiaries and must act in their interests.
  • The Trustee can recover its expenses and costs from the trust.
  • The Trustee must lodge a tax return each year concerning the trust.

Q.  What is the role of the Beneficiaries?

  • These are persons or entities for which the Trustee acts for and on behalf of.
  • The Beneficiaries receive the income of the trust and eventually may receive capital.
  • Beneficiaries that are specifically named in the trust deed are referred to as, Primary Beneficiaries. If the Beneficiaries are only described by their relationship to the Primary Beneficiaries then they are classed as, Secondary Beneficiaries.

Q.  What is the role of the Appointor?

The Appointor is the person named in the trust who has the power to remove and appoint the Trustee.

As the Trustee controls the assets of the trust and the distribution of income, this power to alter the Trustee is very important.

Q.  Who prepares your deeds and legal documents?

The solicitors that prepare and update all of our legal documents are Mellor Olsson Lawyers.

Q.  What are the main differences between a Discretionary Trust and a Unit Trust?

  • The Unit Trust is a common structure where a group of people want to carry on business together.
  • The way a Unit Trust works is, essentially, the number of units that the Unit Holders have in the trust represents their interests as beneficiaries’ of the trust. The units issued are all of the same class, and this gives all unit holders equal rights to vote, and share in the distribution of income and capital in relation to the number of units they hold.
  • The Unit Trust structure has some real advantages in terms of ease of reorganisation, and minimisation of taxes and stamp duty.
  • The Discretionary Trust (also known as a family trust) is usually set up for the private affairs of a family.
  • The key difference and main advantage of a Discretionary Trust is the Trustee has the ability to determine each year which of the beneficiaries of the trust will receive income and in what proportions.
  • Discretionary Trusts are set up for tax benefits, asset protection, and estate planning purposes.

Q.  Is it necessary to have my trust deeds stamped?

In South Australia, it is optional to have your trust deeds stamped and you are not required to do so by law. It is, however, recommended and the preference of our solicitors that you do have your trust deeds stamped. Upon your request, we can arrange stamping with Revenue SA at no extra cost. This applies to South Australian trust deeds only, and while we do set up trust deeds for our clients across Australia, stamping costs and requirements vary across each state and territory.