Save thousands of dollars on private education with savvy estate planning
You can take advantage of legal tax benefits and save on education costs with a trust. That statement comes from O’Keefe Mahoney Bennett estate planning manager Richard Dawson who says trusts are established in a will and funded by assets of a deceased estate or payments to an estate.
“A Testamentary Discretionary Trust (TDT) is otherwise known a lineal descendants trust,” he says. “The trust is controlled by a trustee. The trustee is usually the primary beneficiary and able to enjoy the benefits of the trust. TDTs often include other beneficiaries. These may be the children and grandchildren of the primary beneficiary because current tax legislation allows the proceeds of a trust to be distributed to beneficiaries.”
The benefit of correct estate planning is that tax savings result when the trustee distributes gains to the beneficiaries with the lowest marginal tax rate in a particular financial year. “These may be the mother, father, child, or grandchild of the deceased which means that the beneficiaries pay tax on trust proceeds at normal marginal tax rates.
“These beneficiaries are usually children as they are unlikely to be earning an income. Therefore significant tax savings can be gained by distributing trust income to children because children aged under 18 years are taxed at marginal adult rates as opposed to adults on high incomes who pay significantly higher tax rates,” Richard says. “Those tax savings from the trust income can therefore be used to subsidise children’s education costs and living expenses. By effective use of estate planning, we can ensure that those savings via the taxman can pay for their education and lifestyle.”