Trusts and Planning

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What is a trust?

A Trust is a legal term that describes ownership of property, investments or other assets by one or more people (“trustees”) or a trust corporation for the benefit of other people (“beneficiaries”).

Many people look into setting up a trust fund in order to secure their assets but most wonder how to set up a trust in the first place. Below explains a little more about how to do just that.

There are different trusts for different situations

There are five main types of trust that you will need to know about when setting up a trust, whether you plan to leave assets to people close to you or whether you’re setting up a trust fund for a child. They are as follows:

A Discretionary Trust

Setting up a discretionary trust will mean that no individual person is entitled to receive anything and instead, the power is handed over to the trustees to decide. The trustees will then determine:

A Life Interest Trust

Setting up a trust in the form of a life interest trust in the UK is when one or more people are entitled to receive the income, but the capital itself is held either for someone else or for when a future event occurs.

Accumulation and Maintenance Trusts

If you are setting up a trust for a child, then you will probably look into setting up an accumulation and maintenance trust. It’s worth knowing that, in the past setting up a trust in this way was a common occurrence because it benefitted a child or children under a specific age. Once the children reach the age specified, they then not only have rights to that income, but they were also usually entitled to the capital. However, special tax rules are now in place and apply to setting up this trust, which in turn has seen severe restriction on this as per the finance act 2006.

A Bare Trust

If you’re wondering how to set up a trust fund, a Bare trust is just another way of choosing who receives your estate. Setting up a trust in Bare Trust fund means that you can choose a nominee or trustee to hold the trust property, but really the beneficiary has complete rights to it and can ask the trustee to hand over the trust property at any time. A good example of this would be parents holding savings accounts as nominees for their children.

Charity, investments and pensions

Setting up a trust and learning how to set up a trust can also come in the form of charitable trusts, investment trusts and pension trusts but these particular trust set ups are not dealt with here.

When should I consider setting up a Trust?

  • If you’re looking to control assets
  • To ensure secure arrangements for a time in the future, for example, if you’re setting up a trust to keep a property in the family. Setting up a trust ensures that there is a chance to retain any assets or property even if ownership has to be passed onto a family company, for example.
  • Setting up a trust will protect capital. Having a trust in place can prevent assets being lost in circumstances such as:
  • A beneficiary has marriage problems and/or finance problems.
  • Is physically or mentally unable to look after the property due to a disability.
  • When a beneficiary is a little reckless with money.
  • Setting up a trust can also be useful tools when it comes to managing tax mitigation schemes. Setting up a trust will reduce tax liabilities in the present or in the future. Setting up a trust always comes with tax consequences.

When should I consider Setting up a Trust?

You might be looking into setting up a trust but are not sure how to set up a trust or when the right time to set up a trust is. You should consider setting up a trust when:

You have a choice between:

In addition, you may:

When setting up a trust, you can be a trustee yourself, or appoint others.

The trustee Duty

A trustee in a trust set up has the responsibility of protecting the trust property for the beneficiary. When setting up a trust, you will make a trust document, where the trustee’s obligations will be laid out. However, regardless of whether these powers are set out in the trust document, a trustee has the right to:

The Cost of Setting up a Trust

If you’ve learnt how to set up a trust and are now wondering what the legal costs are associated with setting up a trust, please read below.

What about future running costs?

How can a Trust be Brought to an End?

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To learn more about how we can help you with Trusts, please contact ​Lucy Gordon on 01295 20​4045 or email ​lgordon@se-law.co.uk.

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