A Trust is a way of managing assets (money, investments, land or buildings) for people. Trusts involve the ‘settlor’ – the person who puts the assets into the trust; the ‘trustee’ – the person who manages the trust; and the ‘beneficiary’ – the person who benefits from the trust.
Trusts can be set up for a number of different reasons, including:
- To control and protect family assets
- When someone is too young to handle their affairs
- When someone is unable to manage their affairs because of incapacity
- To pass on assets while you are still alive
- To pass on assets when you die (a ‘will trust’)
- Under the rules of inheritance if someone dies intestate (i.e. without leaving a will)
Trusts can be useful tools for managing assets whilst drawing up a will as they can avoid or mitigate the imposition of taxes (e.g. Inheritance Tax).