Trusts Bill 2024 consultation

Prior to the last election, the government made a commitment to reform and modernise the Trusts Act 1973 (the Act) in consultation with key stakeholders.

As Queensland’s trusts laws were enacted over 50 years ago they are in need of review, simplification and modernisation to ensure they give effect to modern societal expectations. While the Act does not codify the law of trusts, it legislates important matters in relation to trusts.

All Queenslanders are impacted by trust law during their lifetimes, whether it be through deceased persons' estates, businesses or other assets which are owned by family discretionary trusts, superannuation fund trusts or gifts to charitable trusts.

Draft Bill

The government sought the community’s views on the draft new Trusts Bill 2024 (the Bill).

The Bill is based on the draft Bill prepared by the Queensland Law Reform Commission as part of its final report—A Review of the Trusts Act 1973—completed in 2013. However, it has been developed taking into account feedback from targeted stakeholders.

Some reforms in the Bill to modernise and simplify the law in this area include:

  • simplifying the investment powers of the trustee including permitting delegation of the investment power by the trustee
  • imposing minimum statutory duties on trustees to provide certainty for trustees and those with an interest in the trust property
  • increasing the maximum amount which can be advanced from the trust property for a child’s education, maintenance and advancement to reflect modern community standards
  • permitting certain cy-près applications to be dealt with by the Attorney-General to minimise costs for the charitable trusts
  • granting the District Court power to deal with disputes relating to trust property which fall within the District Court’s jurisdictional money limit to minimise costs for the trust and those with an interest in the trust
  • modernising the provisions dealing with gifts by particular trustees for philanthropic purposes to reflect changes to Australian Government legislation in this area.

Note: Many provisions of the Bill raise legal and technical issues on which only stakeholders who practise in this area may wish to engage.

Consultation paper

We developed a Consultation paper to seek community input to inform the development of the Bill. The paper included an Annexure which outlined the differences between the Bill and the QLRC’s draft Bill.

We also developed Consultation notes which set out a number of specific issues for consideration and feedback.

Have your say

You were invited to provide written submissions in response to the consultation paper.

Submissions closed at 5pm on Tuesday 19 December 2023.

Your privacy

The Queensland Government is bound by the Information Privacy Act 2009—find out more by reading our privacy statement. Information you provided in your submission may be collected by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG) for the purpose of informing this consultation. DJAG may contact you to request further information on the issues you raised in your submission, unless you told us in your submission that you don’t want to be contacted. Your submission may also be published on DJAG’s website. Please note that all submissions may be subject to disclosure under the Right to Information Act 2009.

Contact

If you have questions about the review, you can email the Trusts Act Review team at TrustsActReview@justice.qld.gov.au.