Trusts and Your Assets and Liabilities Statements I recall myself being confused in the early days when drawing up assets and liabilities statements for the banks. Do you declare trust assets or not? The answer is ‘no’ – not unless you are the beneficiary of a unit trust. With discretionary trusts the assets do not belong to you, whether you are the trustee, the appointor or a beneficiary. Beneficiaries have no ‘interest’ in a discretionary trust, other than having it properly administered. If there was an interest, then it would be at risk from attack. Putting down trust assets in your own income and liabilities statement may even be used against you later on. It could be argued that the trust is a sham, or that the trustee is only acting as trustee for you, a bare trust relationship. This will weaken the asset protection aspects of the trust. Similar with leaving trust assets under your will. Don’t do this as you cannot deal with trust assets this way. If you do mistakenly leave trust assets in your will then the beneficiary who you left those assets to will miss out and can sue the estate and argue that the trust was a sham and that they are entitled to the assets. This is what happened in Smith v Public Trustee NSW from a few years ago.