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Acting as a trustee is an interesting role with a whole host of responsibilities and duties.
Trusts can range from simple bare trusts with a single asset and beneficiary, to ‘new’ lifetime trusts set for a specific purpose and with a full range of powers and provisions, to will trusts established to facilitate further planning after death, or ‘historic’ trusts with challenges in terms of modern trust principles and powers. All different types of trust should be considered carefully to make sure that appropriate action is being taken.
A well administered and actively managed trust can be a very useful tool, which can be used flexibly and protectively for a whole host of valuable purposes. With the right systems in place, it should be straightforward to manage a trust as a positive factor rather than a burden.
Our experienced team brings together legal, accounting and taxation knowledge and specialist dispute expertise to meet any challenges that might arise when managing a trust. We can actively consider any trust structures as part of a family’s wider succession strategy if appropriate.
Trustees may have a defined plan in place for the use of the trust or might need some assistance to review and create a strategy but. Either way, you’ll need to address the following from time to time:
We can help trustees to:
Alongside the ‘planning’ work, we can help trustees to establish an effective system (whether it be for a new trust or getting an older trust ‘back on track’) to ensure that you’re complying with the appropriate rules and requirements.
All trusts tend to require some ongoing management on a regular basis to deal with trust compliance requirements and a trustee may need to consider the following:
The appropriate level of service for your trust will depend on how much you’re willing and able to do yourself, the complexity, what the trust is being used for and what other professionals you have on board. We can offer a full-service option (compliance and planning) or we can complement the work carried out by others, like your accountants.
We have a trust corporation that can be appointed as a professional trustee, which means that we would be committed and obliged to ensure that all duties, powers and obligations are dealt with to the highest standard. Where the trust corporation acts in this capacity and the trust is ‘active’ we often deal with all compliance, planning and advisory work (excluding investment).
We currently carry out trust compliance work for some 500 active trusts and the Mills & Reeve Trust Corporation Limited acts as a professional trustee for approximately 540 trusts. Some recent examples of our work include:
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