FAQs: Trusts


What are trusts?

Trusts are legal structures that are used to manage money and assets. In a trust arrangement, the money or assets are managed by a trustee for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the trust.

What are trusts used for?

Trusts are intelligent ways of distributing money and assets between beneficiaries. They are often set up to provide for the beneficiaries over a period of time, rather than simply gifting the money to the beneficiaries. Trusts usually have the advantage of minimising tax that would otherwise be payable.

What legal obligations arise with respect to trusts?

The trustee (the person named to manage the trust) has ongoing responsibility for the administration of the trust. This includes distributing the money and assets of the trust to the beneficiaries of the trust, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the trust deed. The trustee has special duties, known as fiduciary duties, towards the beneficiaries of the trust. Such duties include duties to act for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the trust.

What is a trust deed?

The trust deed is the document which sets out the terms and conditions of the trust. There are strict rules about complying with and varying the terms of the trust deed. In this way, both the settlor (the person who set up the trust) and the trustee (the person named to manage the trust) are restricted in the way they can deal with the money and assets of the trust.

Where can you get advice on trusts?

Civil law solicitors and wills and estates solicitors who specialise in trust law can advise you on the different types and uses of trusts. A specialist solicitor can draw up a trust deed suited carefully to your requirements. Civil law solicitors can also resolve conflicts that arise in trust law, such as disputes between joint trustees or between beneficiaries and trustees.

If you would like to obtain expert legal advice, then we can help to put you in touch with a local specialist solicitor free of charge. Call our experienced case handlers on 08001 221 2299.

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