Set up a Trust

Putting your trust in Trusts: A Trust is an excellent way of making sure your assets are used for a certain purpose and are properly managed on behalf of those you want to benefit from them.

What is a Trust?

A Trust is a way of holding assets (money, land, property, investments etc.) to benefit other people. It allows you to specify any assets you want to transfer to someone else (the Trustee), which can then be used to benefit other people (the Beneficiaries). Done properly, Trusts can also help protect your assets from inheritance tax and residential care costs.

What is a Trustee?

A Trustee can be a person or company. They are the legal owners of the assets held in trust. There must be at least one Trustee named in a Trust but the people or companies appointed can be changed.

A Trustee is often a family member or friend whom you know you can rely on, but some people choose to appoint a bank or firm of solicitors instead.

What is a Beneficiary?

A Beneficiary is the person, people or organisation for which the assets are held in trust.

Why set up a Trust?

There are many reasons but one of the most common is to protect assets for a loved one who is too young to handle their own affairs. Trusts are often also used to protect assets from creditors or tax liability, to benefit charities, to make provisions for your care in later life, to help someone after your death, or to make sure your money is used to look after you, if you cannot look after yourself.

A Trust can be particularly helpful if you have a child or dependant with learning difficulties or disabilities and you’re concerned how they will manage financially after your death.

Are there different types of trusts?

Yes – depending on your circumstances, you might want to choose from the following:

  • Family Trusts
  • Disabled Beneficiaries Trusts
  • Personal Injury Trusts
  • Charitable Trusts

What is involved?

You appoint a Trustee to be legally responsible for managing your specified assets on behalf of the people you want to receive them (the “Beneficiaries”).

You then decide the rules of the Trust. The Beneficiary must comply with these rules to receive the benefit you have given them.

What are the benefits of setting up a Trust?

Besides allowing you to organise your estate and decide exactly who benefits from your assets, a Trust also:

  • Allows you to efficiently pass assets down through the generations or be used for a specific purpose
  • Helps you protect assets against certain risks such as insolvency, personal overspending or claims from a spouse
  • Provides employee benefits through company shares, pension funds or other methods
  • Can be used as a tax planning tool
  • Allows your assets to be managed in a way that best suits the people you want to benefit from them

We can help you set up your Trust, register it with the Revenue, run it on a day-to-day basis and wind it down after it has served its purpose. The legal wording of a Trust needs to be precise – we have years of experience of this and will help you get it right.

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MacRoberts' specialist family lawyers advise on all aspects of family law, working collaboratively with our clients to help them find the best possible outcome.

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