Trusts can help:
- control where your assets go
- provide for children while restricting their access to capital and providing an element of protection in the event of bankruptcy or the breakdown of a relationship
- provide care for elderly/infirm family or friends and those judged incapable of handling their own affairs
- lessen the burden of inheritance tax and facilitate other tax planning
- protect capital during the lifetime of a surviving spouse (or civil partner)
- place your assets under the control of those you trust in the event of your incapacity
- ensure that a family business stays in the family; and
- provide a lasting legacy in the form of a family charity or foundation.
It is often the case that a friend or family member can comfortably fulfil the role of trustee with a bit of professional support when needed. However, there are situations where you might want to appoint your accountant or solicitor, most obviously:
- where there is no-one else who you consider suitable
- where you need someone who is independent of the family (for example, where you anticipate conflict)
- where you feel that business or legal knowledge is central to the runnings of the trust.
Many of our partners have experience as trustees of family trusts.
Legally, trusts are very complex and there are numerous different types. We can help determine which trust best suits your needs and those of your loved ones.
We can also:
- prepare accounts, complete self-assessment and inheritance tax returns and provide full administrative support
- advise, where appropriate in conjunction with solicitors, on the interpretation of trust deeds and wills and trustees’ powers and obligations
- advise on the timing and consequences of distributions, advances of capital and the breaking or restructuring of trust
- liaise at high level with your other advisers both in the UK and overseas
- facilitate the formation of new structures in the UK or abroad
- calculate and help you plan for capital gains and other tax liabilities
- advise on the taxation of beneficiaries and assist them with their tax returns or claims for repayment
- for charitable trusts, complete accounts in the statutory format, deal with the audit or independent examination of those accounts, and provide full administrative support; and
- where a charitable trust is substantial, provide a vetting system/ committee for ‘good causes’ looking for donations.
Increasingly, clients ask us to set up and administer their trusts, both here in the UK and overseas. Our approach, based on efficient administration and timely planning, can secure your assets for future generations.
Our experienced Trust team offers an efficient and proactive service to other professionals, helping them to meet the needs of their clients without undue strain on their own resources. The focus is on close working relationships and the timely delivery of a well-presented end product, whether dealing directly with the client or remaining in the background. We can help in particular with:
- the preparation of full and detailed Estate accounts in accordance with STEP guidelines and assistance with probate matters (including the valuation of unquoted shareholdings)
- finalising the deceased’s tax affairs up to the date of death, including any necessary disclosures to and negotiations with HMRC
- assisting with the sale of private company shares and the winding up of businesses
- the preparation of Trust accounts in accordance with STEP guidelines or, in the case of charitable trusts, in accordance with SORP 2005 and Charities Act requirements
- the preparation and filing of Trust and Estate Tax Returns, the completion of tax deduction certificates, and a full tax advisory service for trustees, executors and beneficiaries; and
- full bookkeeping and administrative back-up.
The next step
If a long-term arrangement would help you to free up resources and focus on more profitable work, or if we can help on a one-off basis (for example, where the involvement of an experienced and independent accountant would help to protect your position), please contact one of our private client specialists at your nearest location, or complete the contact form.