Minor trusts help support home schooling during COVID
Having money set aside in trust for a rainy day can be a blessing when an unexpected event like COVID-19 occurs and unplanned costs such as home schooling arise.
The Public Trustee manages close to 3100 trusts each year, including minors trusts. Recently parents and caregivers have reached out to access funds to help with the additional costs of home schooling and purchase items such as laptops, iPads and smart phones.
Acting Public Trustee and CEO, Samay Zhouand said a trust is a way of holding assets (such as money, property, shares, jewellery or even household items) for the benefit of a person or particular purpose. In the case of Minors Trusts, assets are held for a child until they reach 18 years of age.
Mr Zhouand said “A child under 18 may inherit money or other assets from the estate of a family member who has died or they may receive a compensation, insurance or superannuation payment. Other trusts are set up by grandparents for educational purposes,” he said.
“Recently, with coronavirus restrictions and requirements for home schooling, the Public Trustee has worked with parents and guardians to access trust funds that enabled them to purchase smart devices and allow for online home-based learning.”
Trusts can be set up when making a Will or by a living person establishing a trust to provide for the beneficiaries at a certain time of their life, throughout their lifetime, or for a specific purpose. Trusts are held by a legal trustee who is responsible for administrating the trust for the benefit of the beneficiary.
“During COVID-19, we have all faced challenges and many families are struggling with a loss of income and unexpected expenses. Having this little bit of support from trusts set up to support education expenses has been beneficial to help these families at this time.” Mr Zhouand said.
Mr Zhouand added “While the choice of a trustee is sometimes determined by legislation, often it is necessary for an independent lawyer or financial advisor to assist in establishing a trust. As such, it is important for people to make an informed choice as to the most appropriate trustee. Different trustees charge different fees so people should first look around to ensure they understand the options available and choose the most appropriate trustee for them”.
It can be important to obtain independent financial and legal advice for the making of a trust. If you would like more information about making a Trust for someone as part of your Will, your local solicitor or specialist legal firm can assist, or you may wish to contact the Public Trustee’s Will Making service on 1300 360 044 for an appointment.
For more information visit www.pt.qld.gov.au
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