If you intend to leave money, property or other belongings to young children or grandchildren or vulnerable family members, setting up a trust can often be the best way to manage and protect your assets. As well as providing greater control of the use of your assets in the future, trusts can also help to reduce your tax liabilities, making them an attractive option for many people when planning for their future.
At Sutton-Mattocks Solicitors, our Wills, Trusts and Probate Lawyers are experts in these areas of law. We have been supporting clients in Barnes, Chiswick and across London for almost 100 years. Our clients value our personal, professional and proactive approach to the issues that mean the most to them.
For practical advice and sound solutions for all Trusts matters, including on how to minimise your tax implications, contact us today to discuss your situation.
A trust is legal arrangement where money, property, investments and other assets are protected and managed by appointed persons or an organisation (the trustees) on behalf of and for the benefit of another person or people (the beneficiaries). The trust deed is the legal document that provides your instructions for how and when the beneficiaries can have access to the assets, for example when they reach a particular age or at any time after your death.
Trusts can be created during your lifetime or can be incorporated into your Will, in which case they will take effect after your death. Some common types of trust are:
Also known as simple trusts, they provide beneficiaries who are 18 are over with the right to all the assets and trust income at any time. Bare trusts are often used where the beneficiary is a young person. The assets are looked after by the trustees until the beneficiary reaches the age of 18.
This type of trust instructs the trustees to give all trust income to the beneficiary as it is generated. The capital of the trust may also be passed to this beneficiary or possibly to other named beneficiaries.
In a discretionary trust, the trustees have discretion over the trust income and potentially its capital too, including which beneficiaries receive payment and how and when payments are made. People often set up discretionary trusts where they wish to pass money to beneficiaries who are not capable of dealing with the money themselves.
Many advantages come with setting up a trust, and these will differ depending on your circumstances. However, the most common factors people aim to benefit from when setting up a trust are reduced tax liabilities and greater control over the management and distribution of their assets.
If your estate on death exceeds the applicable Inheritance Tax threshold, your beneficiaries may face a substantial tax bill, reducing the amount that they inherit. The current tax threshold is £325,000 for single or divorced individuals or up to £650,000 if married, in a civil partnership or widowed, and the current IHT rate is 40%.
Trusts can help reduce the total value of your estate for tax calculation purposes and, therefore, serve as a valuable tax-reduction method. This is due to the fact that when you put money, property or investments into a trust, as long as certain conditions are met, they no longer belong to you and are, therefore, not counted as part of your estate for IHT purposes.
Trusts are also a way of keeping control of your assets and protecting them for your beneficiaries, especially if they are young or vulnerable. They can help you address concerns about keeping money in the family. For example, many parents may want to help their children or grandchildren get onto the housing ladder but want to make sure if they are buying with a partner that the assets remain within the family if the couple divorce or separate.
Further, trusts give you control over when assets are distributed and for what purpose, whether it is for school or university fees or to help your loved ones buy a home. Trusts can also provide you with some flexibility to change your mind about who should benefit from the trust fund in the future should circumstances change.
There is a lot to consider when setting up a trust, including what type to create and how to reduce your tax obligations. At Sutton-Mattocks, we are proud to offer a complete, efficient and reliable Trusts service. Our Trust Lawyers provide valuable advice to clients in Barnes, Chiswick and throughout London on all aspects of setting up a trust, helping them to ensure the agreement is legally valid and accurately reflects their wishes. Our Trust Solicitors are experienced in managing estates of all sizes, so regardless of your circumstances, we can provide high quality and bespoke advice. To find out more about how we can help you, contact us today.
We have offices in Barnes and Chiswick, and we cover London, the Home Counties and the surrounding areas of East Sheen, Mortlake, Putney, Roehampton, Richmond, Kingston, Wandsworth, Chelsea, Fulham, Kensington, Hammersmith, Ealing, Kew, Isleworth, Hampton, Sunbury, Staines, Hounslow, Twickenham, Teddington, Brentford, Gunnersby, White City and Shepherd's Bush.
If you require advice on setting up at trust or on any other Estate Planning matter, please contact us today. Complete our contact form or phone our Barnes office on 020 8876 8811 or Chiswick on 020 8994 7344.
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