Trusts are a method of protecting your loved ones in the future by way of controlling and protecting your assets for your family. There are several reasons why you might consider setting up a trust, including protecting money for younger family members to access when they get older, to control how your assets are passed on, or controlling your wealth if you become incapacitated.

Roles in a trust

There are three main roles in a trust, which are the ‘settler’, the ‘trustee’ and the ‘beneficiary’. The settler is the one who chooses the assets and how they should be used and distributed. The trustee is the individual or organisation who legally owns the assets in the trust and manages them according to the settler’s instructions.

The beneficiaries are the loved ones who will receive the assets. A trust deed is created, which is a legal document that entails how the trust should be used and the assets distributed.

Choosing your trustees

It is common to have two or three trustees, who are often family members and close friends, as it is important that it is someone who you trust, in order to manage and control your assets. You need to be able to rely on them and they also need to be willing to be your trustee.

Sometimes people do not have a suitable trustee to hand, so they ask an organisation, typically a financial institution, to be their trustee. There are several banks who offer this service, but, naturally, it comes with a price tag.

Features of a trust

You can add and remove assets or investments from the trust as and when you need to, making it quite a flexible method of estate planning. Your assets can be ring-fenced in a trust which means you can protect your home, savings, or investments. After you pass away, your trustees will distribute your assets as you direct them to.

This could mean providing inheritance once a beneficiary reaches a certain age or when they marry etc. In fact, a trust can protect your descendants for 125 years from the point of creation.

Trust advisers at Active

Trusts used to have many tax benefits to them, and whilst these benefits no longer exist, there are still advantages to opening a trust to protect your assets and provide for your loved ones, in the event of your passing. Our advisers at Active are on hand with expert advice and extensive knowledge of the market. We work with clients to find the right estate planning product or plan to suit your estate and requirements.

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