Accumulation in Charitable Trusts: Australian Statutory Perpetuities Rules
Journal of Equity, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2014
32 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2017
Date Written: 2015
Arcane questions of perpetuities law are not often discussed in relation to accumulation of income by charitable trusts. With 6,500 charitable trusts in Australia, holding approximately $7 billion of assets and earning hundreds of millions of dollars of income each year, there is significant potential for accumulation. Charitable trust validity requirements, tax limits, governance requirements and the role of regulators provide some bounds. However, discourse largely ignores or brushes aside the impact of perpetuities constraints despite the fact that statutory perpetuities restraints have been applied in Australia and overseas to invalidate accumulation trust terms. This article explores whether statutory perpetuities limits really do apply to directions or powers to accumulate income within charitable trusts in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory and suggests the better view is that they do not, but that the residual risk has significant implications for present practice.
Keywords: perpetuities law, charitable trust
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