What is a Trust and why should I make one?

  • Posted

What is a Trust?

Simply put, a trust is the formal transfer of assets (e.g property, shares or money) to a small group of people with instructions that they manage the assets for the benefit of others.  The trust document states who is responsible for looking after the gifted assets (the trustees) and who is to benefit (the beneficiaries).  It also stipulates any rules that must be followed.

Why should I make one?

Setting up a trust gives:

  • Control – you will be able to say who will benefit from your estate and to what extent; whether a property may be sold or used for certain purposes and who will benefit from it in the future e.g a trust can allow a surviving spouse to live in a property for the rest of their life or ensure that children from a previous marriage benefit from your estate
  • Protection – a trust can restrict the amount and type of benefit received from assets e.g money can be allocated to a grandchild for the purposes of university fees
  • Flexibility –trustees can adapt their decisions to the changing needs of the beneficiaries, rather than the beneficiaries receiving outright gifts. A carefully drafted letter of wishes will help the trustees in carrying out their duties.

A trust can take immediate effect, e.g a Vulnerable Person Trust, or after death as part of your Will.  They are often used as part of Inheritance Tax Planning or to help you to evaluate your estate in terms of potential care home considerations.

At Jobling Gowler, three members of the team are STEP practitioners (accredited members of the Society for Trust and Estate Practitioners).  This means that they have undergone specialist training and are recognised experts in this area.  Where specialist tax advice is required, we can work with your existing financial adviser or refer you to one of our trusted independent financial advisers.  Our aim is to always provide advice that is clear, easy to understand and tailored to your needs, allowing you to make the best decision for you and your family’s circumstances.

If you would like advice on setting up a Trust, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Private Client team or call the office on 01625 614 250. Alternatively, email us at enquiries@jobling-gowler.co.uk.

We offer a 30 minute free of charge appointment to discuss your requirements.