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Just as it sounds, ‘special purpose’ trusts are set up to help a particular beneficiary or group of beneficiaries.  

When tailored carefully to meet the beneficiaries’ requirements, they are a useful way to implement the wishes of the person establishing the trust.

They can also provide significant tax benefits and valuable estate planning outcomes.

Establishing a trust

Set up by the beneficiary

For example, a mentally capable individual who is diagnosed with a mental illness or addiction issue may decide to create a special purpose trust to protect their assets against the risk of damaging future financial decisions made under the influence of that illness or addiction.

This is a great option for preserving and protecting autonomy, guarding against a time in the future when the individual cannot control their decisions.

Set up by a third party

An example of this kind of special purpose trust is when a trust is established by the parents or siblings of someone who has been recognised as a danger to their own financial security due to mental illness, addiction or other reasons.

These trusts are particularly useful because the beneficiary does not legally own the trust assets, so the trust assets cannot be exposed to loss to creditors.

Why appoint us?

Administering special purpose trusts is a huge and ongoing responsibility, as the relationship between the trustee and beneficiary is sensitive and demanding.

The role of trustee can be particularly stressful due to:
  • Irrational behaviour of the beneficiary, who may feel powerless; and
  • Assisting the beneficiary, while not acquiescing to the beneficiary's every demand.

As a professional trustee, we are here for the long term. Equity Trustees acts as trustee of hundreds of special purpose trusts, sensitively assisting beneficiaries in a wide range of situations.; With 130 years experience of acting in this unique role, Equity Trustees acts impartially and prudently to implement the wishes of the individuals who establish these trusts.

Some of the main types special purpose trusts we administer include the following:

Types of Special Purpose Trusts

  • Minors  Trust 285 x 185

    Minor's Trust

    Established to manage and protect the assets of a child until they come of age.
    This may include assets they have inherited.
  • Special Disability 285 x 185

    Special Disability Trust

    Established by parents, guardians or close family members to support the present and future needs of a person with a severe disability.
  • Super Proceeds Trust 285 x 185

    Super Proceeds Trust

    Established as part of an estate plan to manage superannuation death benefits for beneficiaries, rather than beneficiaries receiving death benefits as a lump sum.