Legal Tip 195: Multiple Bucket Companies as an Estate Planning Strategy

Discussion in 'Wills & Estate Planning' started by Terry_w, 29th Apr, 2019.

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  1. Terry_w

    Terry_w Mortgage broker licenced 4 tax/legal advice Business Member

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    Multiple Bucket Companies as an Estate Planning Strategy

    A Bucket company is a company set up to receive profits from another entity – usually a discretionary trust. The bucket company usually does nothing else, except receive money and make loans or directly invest perhaps. Over time the value of the bucket company will rise as money is coming in but not going out. Therefore, it will become increasingly important to consider in regards to estate planning and asset protection.

    One estate planning strategy is to set up one separate bucket company for each child so that when the controller of the companies dies each company’s control can be passed on rather than having multiple people inherit the control of one company.

    Example
    Homer has 3 kids. He wants to leave them approximately the same amount of his assets 1/3.


    Homer has decided to set up a discretionary trust to use to invest in shares. He seeks legal advice on the difficulties with leaving the control of the trust to more than one person so has that covered. But after a while the dividends of the share investments are building up so Homer sets up 3 bucket companies with 3 separate discretionary trusts with one trust holding the shares in each bucket company.

    When the dividends come in he causes the trustee of the share trust to distribute 1/3 to each company. Over a period of time the companies end up with large amounts of retained earnings which and then lent back to the share trust.

    Homer dies.

    Each of the bucket companies is then passed to each child – actually nothing is passed but the control of the bucket companies is arranged so that Child A controls Trust A and Bucket Company A.

    This way things will be easy to divide. There is no more than one child involved in one company so if they want to cause the company to make loans, invest, pay dividends or close down they can do so without the need to effect or even consult with their siblings.
     
    craigc, Perp and Rugrat like this.
  2. FXD

    FXD Well-Known Member

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    Great article as usual Terry.

    Just a curios question since bucket company is to receive and retain all the incoming money, does
    it put it in a viable position to borrow money from bank with the history of recurring income?

    Thanks,
    FXD
     
  3. Terry_w

    Terry_w Mortgage broker licenced 4 tax/legal advice Business Member

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    Yes it could borrow. But not an ideal structure to own assets. I have another loan tip coming up on bucket companies and serviceability.
     
  4. FXD

    FXD Well-Known Member

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    Any lenders out there who will lend to bucket company using 100% of its income for
    serviceability assessment?

    Thanks,
    FXD
     
  5. Terry_w

    Terry_w Mortgage broker licenced 4 tax/legal advice Business Member

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    Yes