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Family Trusts & Asset Protection

Our lawyers can help you protect assets and wealth for the benefit of your family, both now and in the future.

Providing for your family is an essential goal for most people, but it isn’t always easy - simply passing wealth on in your Will or as gifts while you're alive can be risky and inefficient.

We can help you set up a trust to make sure that your family gets the most out of your assets. A trust can:

  • Protect assets for family members who can’t look after assets themselves
  • Protect assets from business creditors or divorcing spouses
  • Prevent an inheritance from affecting someone’s entitlement to state benefits
  • Provide for young children in an income tax efficient way
  • Provide for both a current spouse and children from an earlier relationship
  • Protect family members’ estates from large inheritance tax bills when they die
  • Reduce your spouse’s tax burden when you die.

When setting up your trust, you choose the people who will look after your assets – the trustees - and who will benefit from them – the beneficiaries. You can leave instructions for how the trustees should manage the assets and how they should distribute the assets.

The trust will continue to protect your assets after you have passed away or have lost the capacity to manage your own affairs. With a discretionary trust, you can give your trustees the flexibility to handle whatever new circumstances might arise after you’re gone.

Our Tax, Trusts, and Estates team is one of the most highly rated in the country. With lawyers in major cities across Britain and extensive international experience, we can help wherever you or your family are based.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can protect your assets and provide for your loved ones.

Detailed knowledge of tax issues related to trusts
Offices in 15 locations across the country
Experts on advising how trusts can protect your assets
Experience in creating trusts tailored to your needs

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Family Trusts & Asset Protection - More Information
    • What Is A Trust?
    • A trust is a legal arrangement to manage money or assets for the benefit of specific people. When you set up a trust, you decide who will be in charge of the trust (the trustees) and who will benefit from it (the beneficiaries).

      Assets can still generate income once they have been placed in a trust. Properties can still charge rent, shares still collect dividends, and money can still generate interest. This income can either stay in the trust or be paid to beneficiaries.

      Assets may increase or decrease in value while in a trust – it is the trustees’ responsibility to manage this in the beneficiaries’ best interests.

      As such, trusts do sometimes have to pay tax. However, it can be more tax-efficient to put assets in a trust for the trustees to choose who should receive the income depending on beneficiaries’ circumstances.

    • What Are Settlors, Trustees and Beneficiaries?
    • The settlor is the person that establishes a trust by putting assets into it. This process is known as ‘settling’ the assets in the trust.

      The settlor also decides who the beneficiaries of the trust will be and can place conditions on how the assets should be managed.

      A trustee is a person or company that the settlor appoints to manage the trust and its assets. A settlor can appoint themselves to be a trustee and can also appoint successors to take over as trustee when they die.

      Trustees must follow any instructions left by the settlor and can only use the trust assets in the beneficiaries’ best interests. Trustees have more freedom to make decisions in a discretionary trust.

      A beneficiary is someone that the settlor chooses to benefit from the trust. They might receive an income from trust assets, inherit trust assets at a certain point in time, or be allowed to live in a trust property.

      Settlors can be a trustee and beneficiary of their own trusts, and other beneficiaries can be trustees too.

    • Who Can Be A Beneficiary?
    • You can choose anyone to be a beneficiary of a trust, such as:

      • A specific, named individual
      • A class of people, such as ‘my grandchildren and their descendants’
      • A charity or charities
      • Any other body of people, such as a company or sports club.

      By choosing a class of people to be beneficiaries, you can include people who haven’t been born yet. This means your trust can help your family for generations to come

      Beneficiaries can be trustees of the same trust they benefit from. It’s usually best to have at least one non-beneficiary trustee for discretionary trusts that give trustees a lot of freedom. This helps ensure that the trust is administered as the settlor intended.

    • How Do I Set Up A Lifetime Trust?
    • To set up a trust, you need to include all the details about how the trust should be managed in a trust document. The trust deed should state:

      • Who will be appointed as trustees
      • Who will benefit from the trust
      • Which assets will be put into the trust
      • How you want the assets to be managed
      • How you want benefits to be distributed

      Our specialist solicitors can advise on any of these decisions and help you choose the most effective arrangements to best serve your beneficiaries.

      Trust law can be complicated and the document must be very carefully worded to protect your assets as intended. With an expertly-written declaration of trust from our highly experienced team, you can ensure the outcomes you want.

      Call us today on 0370 1500 100 to find out more about how we can help.

    • What Assets Can I Put In A Trust?
    • You can put any asset that you own into a trust, including:

      • Land and real estate property – including family homes, investment properties, or agricultural estates
      • Personal property – including art, jewellery, and other valuable heirlooms
      • Financial assets – including money, stocks, and shares
      • Life Insurance – you can instruct your life insurance policy to pay out to a trust

      You can put assets into a trust during your lifetime or state in your Will that it should happen when you die.

Irwin Mitchell are a very professional, trustworthy and straightforward company to deal with. I would recommend them to anyone."

Frank Clayton, client

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can I Protect Assets For?

Many people create trusts to protect assets for loved ones who can’t look after the assets themselves. You might want to protect assets for:

  • Young children
  • People suffering from serious illnesses or disabilities
  • People at risk of unsuitable influences or addictions
  • People who are reckless or untrustworthy with their finances.

When you set up your trust, you can leave instructions for how trustees should react if a family member joins or leaves one of these categories. For example, you might let your descendants have more access to trust assets after a certain age, or restrict their access if they behave irresponsibly.

You can also decide how much discretion your trustees have when making decisions like these.

A trust can help you protect assets for other family members as well by reducing the impact of inheritance or income tax.

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What Are The Different Types Of Asset Protection Trusts?

There are many different types of trust that you can create to protect assets for your family, including:

  • Full discretionary trusts
  • Trusts with income entitlements
  • Will trusts
  • Lifetime trusts
  • Specific trusts for people with disabilities.

The type of trust that is best for you will depend on your individual circumstances and what you want to achieve.

You might choose a flexible discretionary trust that can adapt to changing situations in the future. Alternatively, you might prefer a tightly restricted trust that only allows assets to be used in very specific ways to benefit specific people.

Our specialist trust solicitors will listen to your precise needs and requirements and explain all your options in plain English. We’ll use our extensive experience with trusts, wills, tax, and more to advise what we think is best for you and your family.

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Awards and Accreditations

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

UK Chambers & Partners Leading Firm 2018 Leading Firm - Legal 500 2017 Private Client Team of the Year - Legal Business Awards 2018

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