Use of trusts in Estate Planning

Many people feel that trusts mean lots of expense, loss of access to their capital or income and potentially complex consequences for the beneficiaries. Well, if the right trust is not used in the right situation, all of these consequences can occur, making your legacy a nightmare to deal with at a time of grieving and sorrow.

What is important, is to understand what your long term objectives are, your current and potential financial needs plus any concerns you have over the passing of assets/wealth to your heirs. It is only by having a deep and thorough understanding of these matters can our qualified and experienced advisers help identify what steps can be taken and what type of trust may be suitable. The use of trusts is an effective way to protect assets from some types of taxation, what is important is not to create further complications or problems as a result of avoiding inheritance tax.

If we cannot access a suitable standard solution, we will work with your existing (or a recommended) legal adviser to draw up a bespoke arrangement that will achieve what you want in an effective manner.

Whichever of the above approaches that is adopted, there are some basic steps to follow, which our qualified and professional advisers recommend. These are:

  • Make a Will – ensure you have made a Will or that your Will is up to date and reflects your current circumstances and importantly, your wishes.
  • Allowances – understand the annual allowances and gift allowances and use them fully.
  • Exemptions – identify if you can use any of the many exemptions and can they be applied to your situation without prejudicing your financial security.
  • Reliefs – do any of your assets qualify for available relief from IHT? If so, be aware of any actions that may jeopardise that relief e.g. loss of Business Property Relief through change of status from a trading asset to investment.

Our service helps both private and business clients and ensures that a step by step approach is developed in conjunction with your existing legal and accountancy team so a coherent, coordinated and holistic plan is devised and implemented to your timescales.