Is a trust the right option for your estate? Rod Cunich explains

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For more than 33 years Rod Cunich has been helping clients plan for their future by finding practical solutions to legal matters. When it comes to succession planning, business, corporate and commercial law and practice, he is a leader in his field.

Rod is a good listener and takes the time to know his clients on a personal level, earn their trust and work with them to achieve positive outcomes. It is through careful planning that he is able to effectively help clients attain a level of certainty and minimise risks. He holds social justice close to his heart.

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Question: Earlier you mentioned “inter vivos trust” could you please explain that?

Rod Cunich: An inter vivos trust is just a fancy term for saying a trust that you create whilst you are alive.

So while you’re alive now you create a trust and you can build up some wealth there.

The way you pass that wealth on from one generation to the next, that is from you to the next, is not through your will, you simply pass control of the trust to the next generation.

It, doesn’t go through your will.

You have to manage that carefully though, because if your will says “I give everything to my kids equally”, but one of the kids gets control of the trust, then they’ll get more than their share.

If however, you appoint all of your three children to control the trust – just a festering pool of fights and disharmony, particularly when their partners get involved and they – just bad

If you’ve got money in trusts, see if you can pass it to one kid. Balance what they have in that trust against what they get out of the estate so they get a share of the overall wealth including estate and non-estate assets.

The information in this article and video should be considered general in nature and legal advice should be sought. Rod can be contacted via his site, where you can learn much more, and also buy a copy of his book. 

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Total Comments: 2
  1. 0

    This is an issue I have been grappling with for several years. The bit about partners is particularly pertinent and I can see this is already at work despite the fact that my wife and I are still kicking. One of the big issues I have about trusts is that they are subject to Capital Gains Tax when they end as well as putting the family home into these structures will mean payment of stamp duty a second time. Given that our home is worth a bit after the crazy Sydney price stampede I seek to avoid that.

  2. 0

    I am still confused. In the scenario about Inter Vivos Trusts, Rod is saying a trust is better than a will but I would like to know why. I have 3 children and have a will dividing my estate equally amongst them. Should I do the Inter Vivi Trust instead?



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