(03) 9720 2922

Jansen Walsh and Grace

Trust surcharge

If you are the trustee of an absentee trust that owns taxable land as at 31 December 2017, you must inform the State Revenue Office before 15 January 2018.  The trustee must pay the absentee owner 0.5% surcharge on the trust’s 2016 land tax assessment.  Contact us if you are unsure what that means for your trust.

The recent decision of Mullins J of the Supreme Court of Queensland in Thorne Developments Pty Ltd v Thorne [2015] QSC 156 shows that a properly drafted trust deed can protect your family trust if the trustee is deregistered or becomes bankrupt.  We have many years experience drafting trust deeds for accountants, lawyers and shelf company businesses.

Do you have a Will? Is it in accordance with your wishes?
Your will is one of the most important documents you will ever make. If you do not have a Will or your Will no longer reflects your wishes because of changed circumstances or for any other reason, then the assets of your estate will not be distributed as you would want.

The federal government is currently considering a bequest tax or a wealth transfer taxed along the lines recommended by Dr Ken Henry in his review into the Australian taxation system.  Our wills are currently being re-drafted with any future potential bequest tax or any other form of death tax, such as estate duty or probate duty, in mind.

What happens if I do not make a will?
If you die without a will, complex rules will govern how your estate will be distributed on your death. This could mean the people you want to inherit do not benefit from your estate. For example, your spouse may not inherit the whole of your estate and may have to share your property and assets with others. In preparing your Will we will tailor it to meet your individual requirements. No two Wills are the same, just as no two people are the same. We will take your instructions, draft your Will and help you execute it correctly. There are no hidden costs and we will be able to confirm what our fixed fee will be at the initial meeting. If you are in a hospital, or incapacitated, or living in a retirement village, we can visit you. If you find it difficult to climb the stairs to our office, we can come downstairs and take instructions from you.

Keeping your Will up to date
You should review your Will every five years and after any major life change such as getting separated, married or divorced, having children or moving house. It is possible to make minor changes to your existing Will by way of a Codicil.

Safe keeping of Will
It is important that somebody knows where you will is stored so that your wishes are not ignored. We provide a free custodial service. You can store your will in our fire-proof facility, where it will be available when you need it — for free.