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I cannot find my trust deed - what can I do?
Unfortunately, due to the risk of resettling the trust, if you have lost your trust deed we cannot simply issue you with a new deed (except for superannuation funds). However, you may be able to do one of the following:
- Look everywhere for the deed (under the bed, behind the fridge, etc).
- Contact any banks, partners, lawyers, accountants, etc, who may have come into contact with the trust and who may have kept a copy of the deed.
- Contact the original lawyers who drafted up the deed. Even if they don't have a copy they may be able to provide you with a time frame that it was created and from there they may be able to provide you with a copy of a standard deed from that time frame. There is RISK in doing this. As it is not the exact deed and there are no schedules, it may not be accepted as the trust's deed.
- Final option: it may be possible to apply for the court to have the deed "reconstructed" by the court. This will be costly, and will probably involve giving evidence to the court about what the parties to the deed remembered it contained. This may be difficult as the original trustee or settlor may have since died. If it gets to this stage you will need to seek professional advice.