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Glossary of trust terms

Appointor

means the person who has the power to remove a trustee and appoint a new one. Although you have a choice whether to appoint an appointor to your trust, you should consider the benefit of having one to cater for situations such as the death or insolvency of a trustee. The appointor may be the settlor, an existing trustee, a named beneficiary or any other third party.

Beneficiaries

have the right to trust income or other trust property. Their entitlement is dependent on the terms of the trust — they may have a fixed entitlement or the trustee may make decisions in relation to their entitlement.

Eligible beneficiaries

are defined by their relationship to the named beneficiaries. The Cleardocs discretionary trust deed's schedule contains a long and all-encompassing list of 'classes or eligible beneficiaries'. In a discretionary (family) trust, the trustee may distribute at its discretion trust income or other trust property either to named beneficiaries or eligible beneficiaries.

Income unit

is a type of unit in a non-fixed unit trust. Income unit holders may, at the trustee's absolute discretion, receive distributions of trust income. The rights, rules and restrictions attaching to income units are described in the unit trust deed.

Ordinary unit

is a type of unit in a unit trust. Ordinary unit holders have rights to income and capital distributions in proportion to their unit holdings.

Settlor

means the person who gives the assets to the trustee to hold them for the benefit of the trust's beneficiaries on the terms and conditions set out in the trust deed. The settlor executes the trust deed and then, generally, has no further involvement in the trust.

Maddocks advises that the settlor of a discretionary trust must be an independent person. A settlor will often be a family friend or a solicitor or an accountant who will not be a beneficiary or a trustee.

Spouse

includes a person living with the second person as his or her spouse on a permanent and bona fide domestic basis even though they are not legally married.

Trustee

means the person(s) or company who has all the powers to conduct the trust and manage the assets of the trust including distribution of trust income or other trust property. The powers must be exercised in accordance with the provisions of the trust deed. The trustee has a position of trust or responsibility for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

Under Cleardocs trusts, you may have up to 3 people as trustee or else, one company as trustee. In a discretionary (family) trust, the trustees are usually Mum & Dad (or a company in which Mum and Dad are the directors and shareholders).

Unit holder

means a person who is registered as a unit holder of an ordinary unit or an income unit at the relevant time, either separately or jointly.

Unit

means a unit in the unit trust. Rights to income, rules and restrictions attach to units and are described in the unit trust deed.

Vesting date

is the date defined in the trust deed when the trust ends. The standard vesting date is 80 years from the commencement of the trust.

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