What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary can be:

  • a person (including a minor)
  • a company
  • the trustee of another trust
  • a charity / church, etc.

The basic description of a beneficiary is any entity who receives any distribution of income or capital from the trust fund by the trustee.

There are typically two types of beneficiary to a trust:

Primary beneficiaries

A primary beneficiary is any entity that is named in the trust deed when it is created. These are entities specifically nominated to receive trust funds from the trustee.

Beneficiaries (general)

A beneficiary is typically a related entity to a primary beneficiary and can include grandparents, parents, siblings, children, stepchildren, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins, etc.

This also includes any of the above related to the spouse of a primary beneficiary.

The trust deed also allows, by default, any further trusts (including superannuation funds) and companies associated with any of the beneficiaries, along with employees of the trust and charities, churches, etc to be a beneficiary.


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