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Strategic advice on trust law and trust arrangements

Having access to the best quality advice on trust law and trust arrangements from a commercial lawyer can give your business a competitive advantage.

It can also help you to achieve your financial goals sooner.

In this complex area of the law, our lawyers specialising in trusts provide straightforward, commercial advice. We take into account each client’s unique circumstances and tailor our advice to their particular needs.

Estate planning and asset protection

Trusts are a vital tool to assist with estate planning and asset protection. Our team of Brisbane based lawyers are experienced in assessing our clients’ needs and setting up structures to suit their objectives.

One of the main reasons we set up trusts is to allow for tax effective estate planning. Other common reasons are to provide ongoing support for a beneficiary under your Will or to benefit a charity.

As specialists in the area of trust law, we can help you:

  • identify the type of trust that would best suit your circumstances
  • prepare documentation and agreements
  • provide tax advice
  • assist with training for both clients and their advisers.

While there are several kinds of trusts available, it is a matter of aligning your objectives with the right one.

Our experienced team of commercial lawyers specialise in trust, legal and taxation matters. They can identify the type of trust that will best suit your objectives and your unique circumstances.

Service trust arrangements

Service trust arrangements need to be carefully reviewed to ensure compliance with ATO guidelines. Most often, a service trust is used to hold certain assets, which are provided to a separate operating entity for a fee.

The first of two main reasons for establishing a service trust is income splitting. This is because the stakeholders in the service trust being paid for the services can be different from the stakeholders in the entity receiving the services.

The second reason to establish a service trust is asset protection. Service trust arrangements allow assets to be efficiently quarantined outside a business entity. This can safeguard those assets from litigation or other liability claims against that business entity.

In the area of service trusts, we can help you:

  • prepare documents
  • review existing arrangements
  • review basis of calculating changes
  • assess restructuring options.

For legal advice on trusts for you or your clients, contact Cooper Grace Ward on (07) 3231 2444.


Key contacts

Scott Hay-Bartlem
Fletch Heinemann
Clinton Jackson
Linda Tapiolas
Greg Cahill
Steven Jell
Special Counsel
Murray Shume
Special Counsel
Keeghan Silcock
Senior Associate


Podcast: TaxLand with Fletch and Sarah – 2024 tax time – tax issues for testamentary trusts and deceased estates

In this episode of TaxLand, Fletch Heinemann and Sarah Lancaster discuss tax issues for deceased estates and testamentary trusts, including the Commissioner’s discretion to tax testamentary trusts and deceased estates under section 99 rather than section 99A. Travel to TaxLand with us to learn more.

It Depends - What happens to the assets in my discretionary trust when I die?

In this edition of It depends, associate Sacha Robinson talks about what happens to the assets in your discretionary trust when you die.

It Depends - Who should receive the distributions from my family trust?

In this edition of It depends, partner Scott Hay-Bartlem dispels common myths surrounding trust distributions. His message: don’t limit your focus to tax matters this EOFY - there’s much more to consider!