What is a Trust?
Trusts have been used by families for centuries to protect wealth.
A trust is a formal transfer of assets (whether they be property, shares or just cash) to a small group of people (usually two or three) known as Trustees’ with instructions that they hold the assets for the benefit of others.
If the trust is to be made in your lifetime to take immediate effect, then it is usually evidenced by what is known as a ‘Trust Deed’ and often referred to as a ‘settlement’. If it is to be created on or shortly after your death then the trust rules must be set out in your will.
Whether by lifetime settlement or by Will, the trust instrument will state who is responsible for looking after the gifted assets (the Trustees), who is to benefit (the Beneficiaries) and any conditions or rules that are Trustees or Beneficiaries must adhere to.
The separation of the legal ownership and the beneficial ownership (which were once inseparable) is the unique characteristic of the trust concept. The Trustees are the legal owners but the beneficial owners are the Beneficiaries.
How long a trust lasts is entirely as you think appropriate, but the trust period must be stated in the trust document. It might be for just a few years, perhaps during a person’s widowhood or until a child attains a certain age or marries. Trust can last much longer however – up to 125 years. It is usually advisable to give the Trustees the power to terminate the trust at their discretion.
If you are creating the settlement in your lifetime, you can appoint yourself and your spouse as Trustees if you wish, so that you remain in control of the assets and the decision making.
We arrange, set up and administer a range of trusts for estate, tax and asset planning. We understand the long term impact on people’s future and ensure our services take into account.
We bring to an end Trusts which are no longer required, and we are registered with the HM Revenue and Customs.
In certain circumstances the nature of the trust work will mean that we work with Trust Services Company who are regulated by HM Revenue & Customs as a “Trust or Company Service Provider” or and in addition to Solicitors, Barristers and Accountants and Tax Planners.
If you have any queries please free to contact us.