Trusts

Trusts, particularly Offshore Trusts, have become an integral part of wealth and tax planning worldwide.

What started as an uncomplicated understanding between a wealthy land owner (the Settlor) a Trusted friend or relative (the Trustee) and the land owner's dependants (the Beneficiaries) has now become a refined planning tool administered by modern laws tailored to meet the needs of Settlors and Beneficiaries employing professional Trustees to protect their family or corporate wealth.

Apart from the Trust itself, the Letter of Wishes is perhaps the most important document connected with a discretionary Trust. Although not a legally binding contract between Settlor and Trustee, a Letter of Wishes enables Settlors to indicate, in writing, how they wish the Trustee to manage the Trust and its assets.

The Trustee must always act in agreement with the Trust for the benefit of the Beneficiaries.

A concern often expressed by Settlors and Beneficiaries is that by passing legal title of family assets such as properties, investments or other items to Trustees, they will be excluded from benefiting from them. This is not the case. Provided the Trust instrument is worded appropriately, the Trustee may permit the Beneficiaries (which can include the Settlor) to use assets held on Trust as well as receive income or capital from the Trust. All such matters can be dealt with as part of the Letter of Wishes.

Why set up a Trust?

You should seriously consider the use of a Trust if you are concerned about the protection of your assets from financial, fiscal or political risk.

A Trust is one of the most secure and flexible financial planning vehicles available, particularly when established offshore.

A Trust may also be an effective tax-planning tool, for example in respect of estate or inheritance taxes on assets situated outside the country of the Settlor's nationality. It may also provide complete confidentiality and protect assets from the imposition of exchange controls or similar political measures. A Trust may also be used as a means of protecting assets from the risk of unforeseen financial difficulty.

All types of assets, from personal properties - such as the family home - to more complicated investments, may be included in a Trust structure and the use of Trusts is not confined to individuals. International corporations also use Trusts as an important part of their asset management strategy.

By establishing certain types of Trusts, individuals may remove assets from their estate, thus reducing their taxable wealth, limiting exposure to income tax, capital gains tax, wealth tax, gift tax and inheritance tax.

When using Trusts for tax purposes, Settlors must consider the tax rules that apply to themselves, the Beneficiaries and also the assets. Care must also be taken to consider the implications of transferring assets into the Trust and how payments to the Beneficiaries will ultimately be treated.

Having worked so hard to build a valuable business or asset base, it is everyone's right to try to preserve that wealth for themselves and their family.

Trusts have become an integral part of wealth and tax planning worldwide and enable individuals to plan and mitigate for a wide range of circumstances.

What started as an uncomplicated understanding between a wealthy land owner (the Settlor) a Trusted friend or relative (the Trustee) and the land owner's dependants (the Beneficiaries) has now become a refined planning tool administered by modern laws tailored to meet the needs of individuals employing professional Trustees to protect their family assets and wealth.

A Settlor can decide who can benefit from the trust and receive income or capital as and when is required or they can select a class of beneficiaries to potentially benefit and leave it to the trustees to use their discretion as to who and when they benefit.  Legal ownership is given to the trustees but the settlor can express his wishes and desires in a letter of wishes to the trustees.

You should seriously consider the use of a Trust if you are concerned about the protection of your assets from financial, fiscal or political risk.

A Trust is one of the most secure and flexible financial planning vehicles available, particularly when established offshore.

A Trust may also be an effective tax-planning tool, for example in respect of estate or inheritance taxes on assets situated outside the country of the Settlor's nationality. It may also provide complete confidentiality and protect assets from the imposition of exchange controls or similar political measures. A Trust may also be used as a means of protecting assets from the risk of unforeseen financial difficulty.

By establishing certain types of Trusts, individuals may remove assets from their estate, thus reducing their taxable wealth, limiting exposure to income tax, capital gains tax, wealth tax, gift tax and inheritance tax.

When using Trusts for tax purposes, Settlors must consider the tax rules that apply to themselves, the Beneficiaries and also the assets. Care must also be taken to consider the implications of transferring assets into the Trust and how payments to the Beneficiaries will ultimately be treated.

Having worked so hard to build a valuable business or asset base, it is everyone's right to try to preserve that wealth for themselves and their family.