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Trusts may be used for a variety of reasons, both during lifetime and also on death.
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They are a useful tool for protecting your assets to pass family wealth down the generations, and also as a means of retaining control. By creating a trust, you enable your chosen family members or friends to benefit from your assets, whilst placing the control of managing the assets into the hands of your chosen trusted individuals. They help cater for more complex family circumstances, for example providing for different branches of the family, including how you may wish to provide for any step-children, or any family members with disabilities.
Trusts can be created during your lifetime for many reasons, primarily as a mechanism for passing wealth down the generations, whilst still maintaining an element of control over your assets. By creating lifetime trusts, it may also be possible to mitigate against inheritance tax on your death, and capital gains tax planning may also be achieved They are also useful for helping to provide benefits for young family members, without allowing them to have access to the assets outright.
Trusts used on death
It is also possible to include trusts in your Will. They are beneficial if you do not like the idea of your family members receiving potentially large sums of money outright on your death. It may be that you do not believe they will not be mature enough to handle such large sums, or you may be concerned about any undue influence they may come under in respect of how they should deal with any money or assets they receive. By using a trust, your chosen trustees can retain control over your assets, and distribute assets from the trust as and when they feel it is appropriate to do so.
Using a Will trust helps cater for flexible arrangements for often complex wishes surrounding business interests. Such flexibility allows your trustees to manage the trust fund appropriately in light of changing circumstances. For example, having a trust allows you to appropriately deal with compensating children who may not have received shares from a business. In addition, Will trusts can be used effectively to provide benefits for disabled persons, and may also be used to safeguard your assets against issues such as remarriage.
Our expert lawyers can advise you on all aspects of trust management, right from setting up a trust, managing the administration of a trust, and also dealing with the winding up of a trust.
You may wish to consider the use of a Family Investment Company (“FIC”), which is a company with bespoke articles for use as an alternative to a family trust. It allows individuals to retain control over assets whilst accumulating wealth in a tax efficient manner and enabling future succession planning. Our corporate team are able to advise you on the benefits and practicalities of setting up a FIC.