For the remaining income trusts that need to determine their future by Jan. 1, 2011 by choosing, generally, whether to convert to a corporation, be acquired, or stay the course, winning over investors won't be easy.

“Trusts will need to consider their business model and what structure works best for them. Do they continue to pay distributions and to what extent do they pay distributions?" says Michael DeCosimo, a partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. The answers to those questions, he says, depend on "the type of business they are in, their management expertise and the capital requirements of the company.”

Adding to the challenge going forward will be keeping investor payouts high through dividend yields as the new companies will have to preserve cash to pay their tax bill and cultivate revenue-generating opportunities.

Michael predicts that over time "you are going to see yields come down." That will lead to opportunity, he says, as financial institutions will look to launch new offerings to fill the void. "I think there will be some high-yield products that come out at some point. I think this is an exciting time for structured products and the closed-end [funds] space. There's a lot of opportunity for retail investors looking for high-yield product that can be structured to suit their investment requirements."