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Family Trusts 101

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Product Description

If you are thinking of setting up a family trust in the near future or already have one, this book will be a very worthwhile read.

We set ours up five years ago. On several occasions I have tried to make sense of the Trust Deed but as with many legal documents I have been foiled by the Olde English legalese jargon.

Conversely in this book Janet goes out of her way to apply the KISS principle - anyone will be able to extract value and it is very easy to read and understand.

Janet’s 3D Cardinal Rule is a good example of how she demystifies the topic. Discuss – Decide – Document.

She sets out the key reasons for creating a trust. There is a substantial amount of administration and expense involved with trusts so you need to know what you are trying to achieve.

 Then of course you need to take action to implement the Trust so the goals are achieved. All the steps and potential pitfalls are explained.

Thirdly everything needs to be recorded to ensure the Trust meets all legal requirements and stands up to scrutiny.  

The chapter on what to include in a Trust Deed gave me a checklist so I could then drill down to the detail of our own Deed and understand it much better.

I also now understand why Deeds of Acknowledgement of Debt are done individually rather than jointly. By being individual if one partner dies any ungifted balance can be immediately forgiven. If joint it would transfer to the other partner. Thanks Janet, I don’t mind that extra paper and dividing everything by two now.

I also know we need a Marshall Clause but I’ll leave that until you read your own copy.

The practical process for placing different assets into a trust is also spelt out.

If I have niggles with this book they are minor ones. She does recommend her own firm and also puts a plug in for a specific mortgage broker and insurance broker. It’s not really surprising and I would certainly also endorse using a professional trustee and other professional advisers. It will be up to the reader to choose for themselves.

Probably even more minor, there are a couple of typos. A pet hate of mine is seeing principle and principal used incorrectly and this happens twice!

Reviewed by Margie Macalister

Published: 2013


I just finished reading Family Trust 101. Just last weekend I decided to flick through it. It was so good and easy to read and understand, even by me, that I could not put it down. I finished reading it over the weekend. I would recommend it to anyone. As I mentioned it last night too at the seminar you all at GRA are awesome and from a different planet. All the way through from receptionists to top, Directors. Thank you all. Diane

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