Why is it so important to use a solicitor for trusts?

 

Trust law refers to the creation and administration of trusts for the beneficiaries of said trusts. Trust law is a highly complex area of law - one of the most complex – and for this reason it is absolutely essential to use a solicitor who is experienced in trust law if you are considering setting up a trust, or dealing with the administration of an existing trust. A solicitor will be aware of the strict rules governing trust law and the case law applying to trusts.

At its most basic, a trust is an arrangement whereby property is managed by a trustee for the gain of the beneficiaries of the trust. A solicitor can explain to you the different people involved in a trust and their rights and obligations. The person who creates the trust is called the settler; however, it is the trustee who has the ongoing responsibility for its administration. There are strict rules governing the role of the trustee; in particular, the trustee has a fiduciary duty towards the beneficiaries, which comprises various principles requiring them to act for the benefit of the beneficiary.

The trust document sets out the terms by which the trust will be administered. There are strict rules about how the trust document can be varied, generally limiting the freedom of the settlor and trustee to deal with the assets of the trust. A solicitor can advise how to structure a trust so as to protect your assets.

There are many different types of trusts and trust structures. The type of trust used will depend upon the purpose for which the trust is desired, which may be for tax planning, asset protection, wills and estate planning, or spendthrift protection for beneficiaries. A solicitor can consider your individual circumstances and requirements to determine the most suitable trust structures for you.

Disputes surrounding trusts are a particularly difficult aspect of trust law. There may be conflicts between joint trustees, or, more seriously, between beneficiaries and trustees. For example, beneficiaries of a trust may be unhappy with the investment decisions of the trustees, or the trustee may act fraudulently in the carrying out of their duties.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on trust law, Caven can put you in touch with a local specialist trust solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local trust solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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