2. Sources of law


a. Trust creation and administration

Creation and administration of Creation and administration of trusts are regulated by equitable doctrines that constitute judge-made principles of trust law. Trustee Acts and Trustee Companies Acts in each state regulate administration of trusts, their variation in some states, and their dissolution.

b. Property, estate and probate

Real property is regulated under Torrens title, or title by registration with a central registry, with some small pockets in states, other than Queensland and South Australia, held under the old system, or common law title.

Administration of deceased estates and probating of testamentary instruments are regulated in each Australian jurisdiction by statute.

c. Taxation

The Commonwealth Parliament has exclusive legislative power to impose taxes on customs and excise, and imposes the only income tax.

The states and territories have retained powers to impose taxes on a range of other transactions and types of property, such as land tax, stamp duties and pay-roll tax. Stamp duties and land tax have application to practitioners creating and administering inter vivos trusts and deceased estates.

© 2012 Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners