For the purposes of a family or unit trust, the trustee is the entity responsible for managing the trust property for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries. The trustee is also the legal holder of any property held by the trust. The trustee is required to comply with the terms of the trust deed, Trustee Act (or similar legislation) in the relevant State or Territory of Australia where the trust is established and trust law.

Only a legal entity can be the trustee of a trust, that means the trustee must be either a person or a company. Despite the initial cost of acquiring a company, it is generally recommended that a company act as trustee of a discretionary trust in order to minimise the risk of personal liability (which is greater for individual trustees than for directors of a corporate trustee) and avoid unnecessary administration (which requires changes to be made in respect of the registered owner of each trust asset where there are changes in individual trustees).


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