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Declaration of Trust

Declaration of Trust - Cost $165 Incl. GST

Acknowledgement of Trust - Cost $165 Incl. GST

Our system instantly automatically generates a Declaration of Trust / Acknowledgement of Trust and other related documents and emails them to you.



Legal Requirement for Declaration of Trust / Acknowledgement of Trust

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Regulation 4.09A of SIS Regulations requires that trustees of a SMSF keep money and other assets of the fund separate from any money or assets held by trustees personally. Further, ATO in its media release Nat 2005/37 warns that all assets of a self managed super fund must be appropriately recorded to show correct ownership by the fund, this generally means that all SMSF assets must be held in the name of the trustees “on behalf of the fund”.

Regulation 4.09A is a prescribed standard applicable to the operation of all superannuation entities including SMSF’s. Section 34 of the SIS Act provides that a person who intentionally or recklessly contravenes this standard is guilty of an offence punishable on conviction by a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units – this translates to a penalty of $11,000.

Lastly, under Section 52(2) (d) of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, SMSF trustees are required to keep fund assets separate from their personal assets. Trustees of Self Managed Super Funds must also ensure that the fund's assets are held in a legally recognised ownership arrangement.

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When does your SMSF need Declaration of Trust / Acknowledgement of Trust

Some offices of state revenue (e.g. NSW) do not recognize a trust arrangement, which means that the assets of the self managed super fund are held only in the name of the “trustees” without mentioning that the asset is held “by the Trustees on behalf of the self managed super fund”.

For example, if you have two individual trustees of a self managed super fund; Mr Jack Brown and Mrs Jenny Brown and if their self managed super fund named “Brown Family Super Fund” purchases a real property, the title deed registered by the office of state revenue of NSW will have only the names of the two individual trustees on the title deed of the property and will have no mention that the two trustees are holding the property on behalf of their self managed super fund.

Hence, to comply with Section 52 (2) (d) of the SIS Act and to satisfy the auditor of the self managed super fund, a declaration of trust or an acknowledgement of trust has to be executed to ensure that the asset is held “on behalf of the self managed super fund” and not in their own benefit. In other words, a declaration has to be made, that they are not the real owners of the asset although the asset is legally in their own name. In absence of such a declaration, it would seem that they are also the “real owners” as well as “legal owners.

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Why do you need a Declaration of Trust / Acknowledgement of Trust

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In most cases assets of a self managed super fund like bank account or Australian shares etc, a trustee will not require a declaration of trust or an acknowledgment of trust as the title of the ownership document will be clearly marked that they (trustees) are holding the asset “In trust for” or “As Trustee for” the self managed super fund. Declaration or Acknowledgement of Trust is required only where statue legislation or any law prohibits the trustee to record the name of the self managed super fund as a beneficial (real) owner of the asset.

Some assets acquired by a self managed super fund outside Australia may also not be able to be registered in the correct manner, that is, the title deed of the asset may not clearly demonstrate that a trust relationship exists between the trustee and the fund; In these situations trustees must execute a declaration of trust or an acknowledgement of trust.

SMSF auditors must also insist that trustees of a SMSF execute declaration of trust or an acknowledgement of trust and have an executed copy in their permanent working papers file. Click here to download Guidance Statement GS 009 Auditing Self-Managed Superannuation Funds and read paragraph 328. Note that auditors must report any non-compliance of Section 52 (2) (d) of SIS Act in an Auditors report and in ATO’s contravention report.

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Difference between Declaration of Trust / Acknowledgement of Trust

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Two different types of documents can be executed to declare or affirm a trust relationship exists between the asset of the SMSF and the trustees of the SMSF. The two documents are similar and to choose which document to use in your situation depends on when the asset was purchased and when the document is being executed by the trustees. If you are not sure which document to use, please ensure that you have taken suitable accounting and legal advice.

Declaration of Trust Acknowledgement of Trust
Declaration of Trust is used where the trustees intends to acquire the property for and on behalf of SMSF in a future date. A declaration of trust clearly establishes the relationship between legal owners and beneficial (real) owners of the asset.

Legal owners act merely as trustee(s) for and on behalf of the beneficial (real) owners.

This document is executed before a purchase of an asset is made.
Acknowledgement of Trust is used where the trustees have already acquired (in the past) an asset and are currently holding the asset for and on behalf of SMSF.

This document assumes that the Trustees have not executed a Declaration of Trust and the asset is already registered in their (trustees) name.

Acknowledgement of Trust is a document to acknowledge a trust relationship between the fund and trustees and to affirm that the trustees are holding the asset for the benefit of SMSF from the date of purchase.

Please note that you will need only one of the two documents for any one particular asset.

Each asset will require a separate declaration of trust.



Some of the benefits of using our system are :

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No need to buy Declaration or Acknowledgement of trust deed tailor made from a solicitors, you can create these documents from our website instantly.

  • For advisors, clients can sign all necessary legal documents whilst they wait, instead of second appointments for executing documents.
  • Our fee is only $165 (Incl. GST)! By using our system you save time, energy and money for yourself and your clients.
  • We can also print (optional) & professionally bind in a deluxe indexed binder and express deliver anywhere in Australia to your nominated address for an additional fee of $55 (Incl. GST).)
  • You can manage all your legal documents on our smart document retrieval system. All documents are stored on our website for ever, secured by your user name and password, for future downloads.

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How it works

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The process to enter the information for a Declaration of trust or acknowledgement of trust, takes less than 10 minutes.

  • After you register with us, you simply log on to your secured area (protected by your user name and password) on our website and log into “SMSF Tools” tab and select.
  • All questions come with clues to answers and explanations. At completion of all questions, confirm your answers and pay us by credit card (Master card or Visa) for instant delivery of your legal documents, you can also pay by EFT or by cheque, however we email your legal documents after we receive your payment.
  • We instantly email your Declaration or Acknowledgement of Trust and related documents and instructions sheet for your needs, any time of day and any day 24/7.
  • We store your documents (password protected) on our website for you to download from anywhere in the world 24/7 from our innovative document manager.

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Documents Printing

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We charge $55 (Incl. GST) to professionally print and express courier (anywhere in Australia) to your nominated address.

The package includes a Deluxe indexed folder.

  • Two bound copy “Declaration of Trust or Acknowledgment of Trust” of your self managed superannuation fund;
  • One copy of the “Declaration of Trust or Acknowledgment of Trust” bound in the folder;
  • All Related minutes & legal documents filed in register;
  • Instruction sheet on exactly to what to do next.

All documents will be ready to sign with “Sign Here” stickers. All documents will also be emailed to you and stored on our website as usual. Before we print documents for you, we get you to confirm that all details are correct to minimize errors.

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