Trusts allow you to appoint a person (or trust organisation) to be a trustee to manage assets for the benefit of someone else. There can be more than one trustee and more than one beneficiary of the same trust. If you create a trust to take effect during your lifetime you can appoint yourself to be a trustee.
You can create a trust expressly by deed or by your will. If you create a trust by deed it would take effect during your lifetime once the assets are transferred to the trustee(s). If you create a trust within your will it takes effect on your death. In some cases, trusts can be implied by law and are not created expressly.
The reasons you may wish to create a trust include the following:
- To leave some or all of your estate for the benefit of young children who are unable to manage their inheritance until they reach at least 18.
- To leave some or all of your estate for the benefit of somebody who is vulnerable and/or has a disability which makes them unable to manage their property and finances.
- To leave a legacy when you pass away which provides flexibility for the Trustee(s) to decide after your death who should benefit from the legacy and when they should benefit.
- To leave a legacy to benefit a loved one which they can benefit from during their lifetime but to control who ultimately benefits from the capital. Examples of where this can be effective:
- To protect your assets from being used to pay for care home fees.
- To ensure your estate ultimately passes to your children in the event of your surviving spouse/civil partner remarrying.
- To reduce the value of your estate and potentially minimise the amount of inheritance tax payable. You may wish to make lifetime gifts of assets but retain control over the assets as a trustee. Expert tax advice should always be obtained before proceeding with this as part of your overall tax planning strategy. We would often suggest we work alongside your independent financial adviser and/or accountant to ensure the right strategy for your personal circumstances is put in place.
- If you have been awarded compensation as a result of an injury that was not your fault.
- If you have set up a life insurance policy but you would not like the proceeds to form part of your estate.
- To maximise the potential availability of agricultural property relief and business property relief.
There may also be other reasons why a trust would be suitable for you and the above is not a substitute for obtaining expert legal advice specifically tailored to your personal circumstances.
We are happy to be appointed as professional trustees as we have years of experience managing trusts but we are also happy to assist and advise lay trustees on an ongoing basis or on a case-specific issue.