What is a trust?

In simple terms a Trust or Settlement is a legal arrangement where someone, the Settlor, gives assets to others, the Trustees, to look after on behalf of other individuals, the Beneficiaries.  The Trustees manage the assets, which may include cash, investments or property, as the legal owners, taking into account the best interests of the Beneficiaries, who are the beneficial owners of the assets.

A Trust may be created by Deed during the Settlor’s lifetime or by their Will and the Deed or Will sets out the terms of the Trust and the interests of the Beneficiaries.  The tax liabilities of the Trustees and Beneficiaries will depend on the terms of the Trust.

Why trusts are set up

Trusts may be set up for a number of reasons including philanthropic, tax and the ability to pass assets out of one’s estate during lifetime, whilst retaining some control.  The most common uses however are wealth preservation and simplifying the management of assets where there is more than one beneficial owner.

The trust department looks after Family Trusts that look after the interests of family members, Estates of deceased individuals and Charitable Trusts.

The services we provide in the trust department include:

  • Preparation of trust annual tax returns
  • Preparation of inheritance tax returns
  • Bookkeeping
  • Preparation of trust accounts
  • Preparation of annual returns (for charities)
  • Planning and advice
  • Liaising with stockbrokers and arranging distributions to beneficiaries

It is often helpful to have a professional trustee/executor to act with family members.  
In many cases a partner of the firm will act as that professional trustee or executor.

How do I access this service?

For more information, please call 020 7306 9100 or use the contact form.