For many of us, protecting and providing for our loved ones is a top priority. Trusts can be an effective way to achieve these objectives, ensuring your assets are safeguarded and that your loved ones receive what you intend them to have.

How do Trusts work?

A Trust is a way of holding assets (money, land, property, investments etc.) to benefit other people. It allows you to specify any assets you want to transfer to someone else (the Trustee), which can then be used to benefit other people (the Beneficiaries).  

A Trustee can be a person or company, and they are the legal owners of the assets held in trust. There must be at least one Trustee named in a Trust, but the people or companies appointed can be changed. A Trustee is often a family member or friend whom you know you can rely on, but some people choose to appoint a bank or firm of solicitors instead. A Beneficiary is the person, people or organisation for which the assets are held in trust.  

Why set up a Trust?

A Trust is commonly set up to protect assets for a loved one who is too young to handle their own affairs. Trusts are also often used to protect assets from creditors or tax liability, to benefit charities, to make provisions for your care in later life, to support someone after your death, or to make sure your money is used to look after you, if you cannot look after yourself. 

A Trust can be particularly helpful if you have a child or dependant with learning difficulties or disabilities and you’re concerned how they will manage financially after your death. 

What types of Trust are available?

Depending on your circumstances, you may choose to set up a Family Trust, Disabled Beneficiaries Trust, Personal Injury Trust of Charitable Trust. Our team can advise you on the best type of Trust depending on your individual circumstances. 

What are the benefits of setting up a Trust?

Besides allowing you to organise your estate and decide exactly who benefits from your assets, a Trust allows you to efficiently pass assets down through generations or be used for a specific purpose. It helps you protect assets against certain risks such as insolvency, personal overspending or claims from a spouse, provides employee benefits through company shares, pension funds or other methods.

It can also be used as a tax planning tool and allows your assets to be managed in a way that best suits the people you want to benefit from them. 

How our Trust solicitors can help

We understand that setting up a trust can seem daunting, which is why our experienced team of private client lawyers, based in Edinburgh and Glasgow, is here to support you every step of the way. 

Once determined whether a Trust is the right option for your estate planning needs, we will work closely with you throughout the whole process, from discussing the most appropriate type of Trust to use and your selection of trustees, to preparing an appropriate Trust deed.  Setting up a Trust does come with a number of compliance requirements, and our team will ensure that these are met. 

Our support doesn't end once your Trust is established. We will continue to provide ongoing advice and administration throughout the lifetime of your Trust. As experts in Trusts, we can also provide guidance to trustees and beneficiaries about their duties, making sure everyone involved has a clear understanding of their role. 

If you would like to discuss the process of setting up a Trust, as well as learn more about our fee options, please contact us.

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