Trusts can provide you and your family with many advantages, both in the short and the longer term. Setting up a trust correctly and ensuring your trust documents are clear and unambiguous is paramount. We will keep you up to date with changes in the law and how they affect your trust. Making the right decision requires sound advice and sound advice comes from experience … the Bell Associates experience.

What does a family trust do?

A trust is the legal relationship created when a person (the settlor) places assets under the control of another person (the trustee) for the benefit of some other person or people (the beneficiaries) or for a specified purpose.

Trusts can provide you and your family with many advantages, both in the short and the longer term. They can provide asset protection and estate planning. Trusts are one of the principal steps taken by clients to protect their assets and plan their estates.

Common reasons to have a trust are:

  • Protection against claims under the Property (Relationships) Act
  • Creditor protection
  • Providing for the special needs of others
  • Protecting property for the next generation - for children and grandchildren
  • Income spreading

Family trust audit

If you have a family trust but are not paying regular attention to your trust, holding at least annual meetings of trustees, and consulting all trustees before making major decisions in respect of trust assets, you run the risk of your trust being labelled a 'sham' or vulnerable to attack.

When most people with a family trust had an annual gifting programme, this was an opportune time for the trustees to review their trust and to sign an annual resolution. However, with the abolition of gift duty, there is now no regular annual 'reminder' and we find that the administration of many family trusts is sadly lacking.

We are able to help you get your family trust back on track. Let us carry out a Family Trust Audit for you. We will check your Trust Deed, your Wills and Memorandum of Guidance, the status of your trust's assets and settlor debt, and any other related matters. Then we will provide you with a report and our recommendations.