An introduction to trusts
Trusts are a way of looking after a person’s assets, such as money, investments or property, on behalf of the trust’s intended beneficiaries. The assets are managed by one or more appointed trustees, who are legally responsible for carrying out the terms of the trust and acting in the interests of the beneficiaries.
A trust can be created on a person’s death or during their lifetime. Their wishes are usually set out in their will or in a deed of trust document. The person who puts the trust in place is called the settlor if the trust is made in their lifetime, or the testator if the trust is part of their will.
Why create a trust?
There are many reasons why you might create a trust. These include the protection of your chosen beneficiaries, or for discretionary purposes such as preventing lump sum payments going immediately to a beneficiary.
Common types of trust include:
- Life interest trusts. To enable someone to enjoy your property or other assets during their lifetime only, after which the assets would pass to someone else.
- Discretionary trusts. To give your appointed trustees discretionary control over your assets.
- Family protection trusts (lifetime discretionary trusts). To protect your family property and other assets for your chosen beneficiaries.
- Property protection trusts. Similar to life interest trusts, but are usually limited to the family home.
Find out more
If you’re thinking of creating a trust in your lifetime or as part of a will, please contact Colin to discuss your requirements.