There are many reasons why people choose to set up a Trust. Establishing a Trust enables you to transfer assets of your choice to the Trust during your lifetime, which can be a tax efficient manoeuvre. For example, transferring assets worth £325k now, and surviving 7 years, can result in an Inheritance Tax saving of £130k. The Trust can also receive the balance of your estate after your death if you have not transferred all assets during your lifetime. By stipulating the terms of the Trust, you are able to direct how your assets are to be used, and who is to benefit from them.
/ Protection of Legacies
In a traditional legacy left by your Will, you have no control over how that gift is used. For example, would a spendthrift beneficiary use the funds in a prudent manner, such as a deposit for a house, or would the legacy be spent on something you consider less worthy?
If your child is declared bankrupt or gets divorced, a Will legacy may be demanded by creditors or claimed by a former spouse. Whilst a Trust is not beyond challenge, it is, nonetheless, a form of defense against claims by third parties.
Rather than leaving your estate in specific shares to specific beneficiaries after your death, some of whom may be more financially secure than others, the Trustees can exercise their discretion when distributing income and capital, and can include other family members, such as grandchildren, who may be born after your death.
/ Inheritance Tax
Placing an asset within a Trust during your lifetime can result in a saving of Inheritance Tax, subject to the timing of the transfer, whereas assets that remain in your personal ownership will be included in the assessment of the value of your estate.
Inheritance Tax is currently charged at 40% of the total value of worldwide assets which exceed the Nil Rate Band threshold of £325,000. So, should the value of your assets be, say, £500,000, current legislation would impose a tax liability of £70,000. However, had you transferred assets of £175,000 or more to a Trust seven years before your death, this payment could have been avoided.
/ Protection of the Family Home
Again, subject to your personal circumstances, under current legislation, it is possible to avoid the family home from being taken into account by the Local Authority, should you require long term residential or nursing care, if your property is held within a Discretionary Trust.
/ Book a Consultation
Setting up a trust or need friendly help and advice about the various options, please call us on 01376 349366 to book a consultation.