Estate planning & Family trusts

It is essential that you give consideration to the assets that you have, the extent to which there is a debt to a financial institution, and the most desirable form of ownership. People in a second marriage or second relationship and all of us as we get older must give consideration to how assets are owned. If assets are owned jointly, then on the death of one partner/spouse the surviving partner/spouse will inherit the entire asset. This can cause difficulties for children of a former relationship as those children can be disinherited. Joint ownership can also cause difficulties if rest home care is needed later in life. Therefore joint ownership can be a very good thing while people are younger but it can be something to be avoided when we are a lot older and closer to needing care. We can ensure that you have the right mix of ownership and estate planning provisions to achieve the right balance and the right result.

So give consideration to the following:

  • Your family
  • Your assets
  • Form of ownership of assets – is joint the best?
  • Joint ownership can be good for people in their 20s, 30s, 40s. But when we are older a different ownership form is better.

Family Trusts

Trusts are a sensible and cost effective legal way of protecting property and managing assets. Because assets are owned by the trust rather than an individual, they are protected against creditors – a significant benefit for business owners. The particulars of how a trust is to be managed and who is involved are detailed in a ‘Trust Deed’.

Benefits of a Family Trust:

  • To ensure certain assets are transferred to the next generation
  • To protect family assets from business creditors
  • To protect assets against future relationship partners
  • To put you in the position to potentially qualify (more easily) for residential care subsidies.

There are many more benefits to be gained through the set up of a family trust. The team at David J Brown & Associates are Trust Lawyers and we can explain how you and your family can gain from a well structured trust. Contact us now. Timing can be everything!

  • Base cost where a home is transferred to the Trust is $2,800 plus GST plus disbursements. This is where there is no mortgage to deal with.
  • Most people of course have a mortgage. In those situations the usual base cost is $3,500 plus GST plus disbursements.
  • Note please that each additional asset transferred to the Trust is normally a further cost of $650 plus GST plus some disbursements.
  • We have more comprehensive information which sets out the more specific costs that would be applicable to you which is available on request.

Family Trust Creation and Transfer of Assets to the Trust is all about protection of the assets. There are sometimes “ripple benefits” such as tax savings – but the primary purpose is to protect the assets.

Family Trust – Why? How? When? Cost?


We look forward to instructions from members of the family to assist you in carefully, sensitively, efficiently administering the estate of the member of your family who has died.

If there is a Will then that will control what is to occur.

  • Executors
  • Beneficiaries

We might hold the Will for the person who has died. Check with us first. We can give preliminary advice on the phone to a family member (usually the executor) as to practical things to do in the beginning

We can advise with regard to probate and administration of the estate and all that that entails.