Setting up a trust allows a reliable person to look after your money and assets on specified terms, which can be structured to fit in with inheritance arrangements.
At Lupton Fawcett, our expert trust, wills and estates team can help with the creation of a trust and assist trustees in the ongoing administration of a trust.
Why Set Up a Trust?
It is important that you have plans in place to ensure your assets are appropriately distributed to family members and other relatives when you die. A trust is a legal process allowing somebody (a trustee) to assign responsibility of assets for the benefit of another person. There are many reasons it may be necessary to look after someone else’s finances by setting up a trust. For example, they may:
- Be too young - read more about child trusts
- Lack mental capacity due to age or infirmity
- Be irresponsible with money
- Have a disability - read more about disabled person’s trusts
- Have to directly pay damages to an injured person
In some special cases, there may be tax advantages to setting up a trust as they can help mitigate inheritance tax (IHT) and capital gains tax. You can also set up a family trust that protects your assets by keeping them in the family - read more about family trusts.
A trustee is responsible for looking after assets on behalf of any named beneficiaries in a will. They have a number of duties that they must complete, including:
- Reviewing the trust regularly
- Monitoring transactions, including expenses incurred and distributions of income
- Relaying information to beneficiaries about a trust
We can help ensure trustees fulfill their duties by chairing trustee meetings and providing advice on how to manage a trust. For more information on the responsibilities of a trustee, click here.
If you leave assets to children under the age of 18, they do not legally have the capacity to handle their finances and a deputy must be appointed by the Court of Protection. This can be a costly and lengthy process, and you will not have control over who is appointed unlike with a trustee. However, there are options that will allow your wishes to be fulfilled.
You can appoint trustees of your choosing in your will; there must at least be two and it can be useful having people with different characteristics, including somebody who is business minded.
Another option is to set up a discretionary trust. This is a trust that allows for payments of income or capital to be made either directly to your child or to a third party for their benefit. Setting up a discretionary trust will keep your child protected against them losing their right to benefits or local authority funding.
If you have a child or dependent with a disability, you may be very worried about what will happen to their financial situation when you are no longer around to look after them. Setting up a disabled person’s trust (also known as a vulnerable person’s trust) where reliable people can be nominated to look after the assets you wish to leave for them can often be the most beneficial solution.
A disabled person’s trust allows you to save assets to be used in their lifetime once you have gone without affecting their entitlement to state benefits. A trust’s assets can be used to pay for daily living costs, care fees and accommodation, for example.
We have advised many parents and carers on these issues and have connections with national and local Mencap and Gateway organisations.
A family trust - also referred to as a life protection trust, a spouse protection trust or a wealth protection trust - passes on assets to a trustee who is then responsible for looking after assets until they can be transferred onto the beneficiary, for example, a spouse, child or grandchild.
How We Can Help
Our experienced solicitors have expertise in setting up different trusts properly and legally as a trust set up incorrectly can result in paying more tax than necessary. We have also worked with charities, including Mencap and Gateway, to draft trusts for families who have members that suffer from special needs.
Talk to Us
For more information on trusts, or for help setting up a trust to protect your assets, contact our expert solicitors based in Leeds, Sheffield and York by using the details below.
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