Trust Administration and advice to Trustees
A trust once ‘up and running’ can be a difficult thing to manage, not least because of the onerous obligations placed on trustees. We can give assistance in terms of advising trustees what they can and cannot do, offering them advice on the best way to manage the trust in years to come, and providing them with the necessary precedent material they need to run the trust privately long term.
With discretionary trusts, it is important that the trustees do actually use their discretion on an at least yearly basis, and with this in mind we can advise on the best way of recording such details.
We can also assist with the necessary Inheritance Tax returns, which can be extremely complex and should not be tackled without independent advice, at least the first time one is filled out and submitted.
Asset Protection Trusts
The use of Asset Protection Trusts over the last few years has soared, partly because of an older population which results in more and more people being moved to residential care at some point. Asset Protection trusts are not appropriate for everyone, however they can be beneficial in certain circumstances.
There are obvious potential benefits, but it is also important that you are made aware of the dangers and risks (something often omitted by the ‘travelling salesman’ companies that also undertake this kind of work). If you are happy with the risks involved, we can prepare and explain the Trust paperwork to you. If you are not happy with the risks, there are other ways to protect your assets as far as possible, which we will be happy to discuss with you. This may include making changes in your Will or discussing other financial investment strategies with an Independent Financial Advisor.
Declarations of Trust – Property Related
When people purchase a new home or an investment property, it is often the case that there are not intended to be completely equal interests in the property, because for example one person (or their parents) have provided a deposit. Alternatively, only one party might be on the mortgage to the property for some reason, despite the fact that two people intend to pay all the outgoings and the mortgage equally.
In these kinds of situations, it is important to evidence your agreement at the start of the matter, so that if there is a relationship breakdown, bankruptcy, or death in the future, the Declaration of Trust will evidence your intentions and agreement, and will protect the interests of the person who has contributed more / does not have their details on the mortgage to the property. Without a Declaration of Trust, upon any relationship breakdown etc., any dispute would need to go to Court and the party wishing to benefit from the property would have to provide evidence that he / she has an interest in the property, which can be extremely difficult and costly. A Declaration of Trust sets out your intentions from the start, and is a contract between the parties buying the properties, which can be relied on in Court if things break down following the purchase.
Personal Injury Trusts
When people receive compensation as a result of a personal injury, this can have a serious impact on the benefits received by the injured person and / or their family members. Receiving a large compensation payment may mean that all of the benefits currently received are stopped immediately, and that the compensation payment will need to be used for everyday living expenses until it is exhausted and benefits can be reinstated.
There is currently a completely legal 'loophole' which allows compensation payments to be placed into a trust, which has the effect that benefits are not effected whatsoever, on the basis that the money in the trust is drip fed to the injured person so that they at no time exceed the thresholds for benefits purposes. Please download our full Guide to personal injury trusts.
If you would like to discuss a potential matter or would like any further information then please contact one of our team.