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5 Tax and Structures

Trust Taxation

A trust is a vehicle to own assets indirectly.

Trusts can vary greatly in their purpose and size.

A trust can include a family trust, where a family may have investments held in the trust for the benefit of parents and children (who are called beneficiaries). The technical term for this type of trust is a discretionary trust.

A trust could also be a unit trust, which managed investment funds often use. This type of trust may have thousands of beneficiaries, called unit holders.

By making an investment in a unit trust, you usually become a unit holder or a fixed beneficiary of that trust. Your assets are pooled together with other investors so there is a larger sum of capital available for investment, bringing cost and diversification advantages.

The assets are usually managed by trustees, who are often professionals with publicly offered unit trusts. The trustee is the legal owner of the trust assets, while the unit holder or beneficiary is the beneficial owner.

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