Complex Property and Trusts

Nicholes Family Lawyers is uniquely experienced in large complex property matters.  A number of our practitioners have a background in large public practice law firms where they have specialised in such matters bringing this unique experience to our firm.

In our property matters we often see a myriad of entities used to either run a complex business or to manage passive investments. Each entity type such as a company, trust, partnership or superannuation fund have unique differences which are important to understand.  It is often in fine detail within our client’s entities that we find issues which can impact on a parties’ overall entitlement in a property settlement.  There are multiple reasons why entities are incorporated or established, such as:

  • Operational risk of their business activities, often requiring multiple entities.
  • To act as a trustee of a trust or superannuation fund.
  • Dormant with the intention of future use.
  • To act as a shareholder or appointor.
  • Flexibility of profit streaming, income and taxation issues.
  • To act as a landlord.
  • Naming rights to preclude another entity obtaining that name.
  • Special or other purpose.

We frequently see the use of trusts in our client’s corporate structures predominately due to a trust being an appropriate vehicle for most business and personal situations.  There are many different trusts we see in practice including:

  • Discretionary (commonly known as a family trust).
  • Unit.
  • Hybrid.
  • Testamentary.
  • Bare.
  • Charitable.
  • Superannuation.

The Family Law Courts can lift the corporate veil on complex corporate and trust structures, so it is critical your lawyer can too.  Combined with the appropriate experts (as needed) we can advise you with respect to corporate structures as they intersect with your family law matter.

Our expertise in large complex property matters has a significant impact to understanding and quantifying the matrimonial property pool.  Through unpacking your financial circumstances there are some non-obvious complex questions which may generate substantial leverage or will have a significant financial impact to the value of your property pool for which your lawyer needs to be aware.  

Sadly, we often see protection measures put in place to attempt to evade a parties’ family law entitlements.  Through our use of both in-house and external forensic accounting services you can be assured that your rights will be properly represented even if you have little to no financial understanding or visibility of your family wealth.

High net worth individual’s complex property matters can span across all industries, our relevant industry experience includes:

  • Agriculture
  • Transport
  • Media
  • Sports
  • Pharmaceutical and Medical
  • Property Development and Construction
  • Information Technology and Security
  • Professional Services

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