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A trust is a useful tool that allows you to retain some control of how your assets are allocated to your beneficiaries. They can help preserve your assets for future generations and ensure that your family is protected financially. A trust can be set up during your lifetime (through a trust deed) or upon death (by inclusion in your Will).

It is the responsibility of the chosen trustees (there is often more than one) to manage the assets that are protected in the trust. Often trustees are friends and family who have a good understanding of the wishes of the deceased. However this can come with its drawbacks.

The demands of the role can be daunting for an untrained person, and with limited understanding of the legal issues and inheritance tax implications, decisions could be made by trustees that aren’t in the interest of the beneficiaries. Trustees may also be beneficiaries in the Will, resulting in conflict of interest, and possible disputes between trustees.

The benefits of appointing independent professional trustees are considerable.  A professional can help you decide on the type of trust which will best suit your circumstances and whether you need to include a trust in your Will or set up a lifetime trust for loved ones.

Their specialist knowledge, expert opinion and years of experience mean a far greater level of skill and care in creating the right trust for you. A professional trustee will explain the law to you in plain English and will provide practical, realistic advice that is suitable for your lifestyle.

Working in this field every day, a professional trustee can give consideration to the inheritance tax status and the financial or marital situation of the intended beneficiary. With their knowledge they can advise on the best strategies to ensure assets aren’t lost and ensure the wishes of the deceased are carried out.

Our partners regularly act as independent professional trustees.  We place great emphasis on our professional, objective and confidential approach and will do everything we can to protect your interests. Our personal service and objectivity means we can manage any potential conflicts of interest and spot and solve potential problems at an early stage.

Even if you decide against appointing a professional trustee, you will still need to seek legal advice from a lawyer to set up the trust.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.