Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Family Trust structures do not have to be complicated


I meet with a new client who thought his business structures were very complicated and had trouble understanding what his accountant had set up for him. 

 The first question I asked before even looking at the structures set up was: What are your goals?  What do you wish to achieve?

As a small business owner, they work hard so the main dream was to build up a direct investment portfolio that can one day provide for their children.

Owning several small businesses, the accountant had set up the structure as two separate family trusts each with a company as the corporate trustee for these trusts as well as another separate company operating a third business.

Working with the accountant, I fully understood the tax efficiency and asset protection reasons for the business structure.  With the help of the white board, I was able to step the client through the structure so that they fully understood the importance of the asset protection and the ease of tax efficiency.

We then devised the strategy for this client to direct the net profit funds to the correct entities to ensure that they can build their direct investment property portfolio.

The role of the accountant is to set up the business structure however their role is not to delve deeper into what the overall picture is that you wish to achieve.  In this example, the accountant never knew that these clients wanted to build up this direct investment property portfolio so was not aware of the best solution to suit the client’s needs.

My role as the financial adviser is to ensure that you utilise the structure to the best advantage for your goals and dreams.  Only your financial adviser looks forward towards the “big picture”.

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