The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. TheĀ information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Trustee requirements for special disability trusts


This topic contains information on the following:

  • who can be a trustee, and
  • how many trustees are required.

Who can be a trustee

A trustee can be either an individual or a corporation. An individual, or a director of a trustee corporation, must:

  • be an Australian resident, and
  • not have been disqualified at any time from managing corporations under the Corporations Act 2001, and
  • have not been convicted of an offence of dishonest conduct against a law of the Commonwealth, state, territory or foreign country, and
  • have not been convicted of an offence under the SSAct or the SS(Admin)Act or the VEA.

Act reference: SSAct section 1209Q Trustee requirements

How many trustees are required

A special disability trust must haveĀ 2 or more trustees acting jointly, which includes friends and family, except where a professional trustee is appointed.

If a corporation is a trustee, the corporation must have 2 or more directors who comply with the trustee requirements.

A professional trustee is either a trustee corporation or an Australian legal practitioner within the meaning of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014 (NSW) or its legislative equivalent in other Australian states or territories. A professional trustee must also comply with the trustee requirements.

This requirement is contained in the model trust deed (section 5.1 refers) and is aimed at protecting the principal beneficiary.

For a copy of the model trust deed, refer to the Special Disability Trusts page on the DSS website.

Last reviewed: