What is a trust?
A trust is an arrangement under which a person holds property or assets for the benefit of others. The person holding the asset or property is the trustee. The people or companies for whose benefit it is held are the beneficiaries.
Unlike a company, a trust is not a separate legal entity, although it is treated as a separate entity when it comes to registering for tax. That means the trustee is liable for any of the trust’s debts, which is why many people choose to have a company as trustee.
Trusts can be set up by deed during a person’s lifetime, or by will to take effect after the person’s death. Trusts established by will are known as testamentary trusts.
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How can a solicitor help?
If you are considering setting up a trust or already have a trust, a solicitor can help in many ways, including:
- Advising you on whether a trust suits your goals or objectives
- Advising you on which sort of trust is right for your needs
- Explaining how the trust works and ensuring that you have taken account of all aspects of how your trust will be governed
- Helping you identify the appropriate trustee and appointor
- Explaining the implications of trusts in your estate planning, family law issues and asset protection requirements
- Drafting the trust deed and setting up the trust, and
- Working with your accountant (where applicable).
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