Trusts

With origins dating back centuries in England and Wales, trusts are a well-established way to manage and pass on money and assets like property, land and investments.

Today, trusts are commonly used for wealth protection and in estate planning to hold family assets in a secure, tax-efficient package.

Through Blevins Franks Trustees Limited, we provide a range of trustee and corporate services for UK residents and expatriates.

How Does a Trust Work?

When establishing a trust, you become the ‘settlor’ and transfer the legal ownership of assets (cash, investments or property) to another person or organisation, known as the ‘trustee’. Those assets are looked after by the trustee until they’re passed on to the ‘beneficiaries’ – usually the settlor and their family, friends and nominated charities. The way this is done is set out in a legal document called a ‘trust deed’ – by law, the trustee must act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

What are the Benefits of Trusts?

While the advantages will depend on the country in which the settlor and beneficiaries are resident, trusts offer some general benefits.

Tax and cost efficiency benefits

  • Centralise a number of your assets under one potentially tax-efficient roof
  • By acting as an alternative to a legal will, trusts can remove the need for expensive, lengthy probate to pass assets to your heir
  • Efficient administration of assets and payment of expenses on behalf of beneficiaries

Security benefits

  • Trust investments are professionally managed in a highly regulated environment
  • Assets are potentially protected from bankruptcy and divorce claims (against you as the settlor, or your beneficiaries) and spendthrift beneficiaries
  • In most circumstances, the trustee doesn’t have to follow local succession laws, so assets won’t be divided up according to the ‘forced heirship’ rules in Spain,  Portugal, Malta or Cyprus
  • As a legally neutral voice in family disagreements, trustees must act in the fairest way possible, without bias, when administering and distributing assets

Flexibility benefits

  • Assets are distributed under the guidance of your wishes as the settlor, which you can change efficiently and at minimal cost
  • You can cater for increasingly complex family situations and avoid forced heirship laws applying to your estate

What Types of Trust Do We Provide?

At Blevins Franks Trustees Limited, we have the expertise to administer any type of trust. The most commonly used trust is the ‘discretionary trust’ and a version of this known as a ‘pilot trust’.

A discretionary trust enables us, as the trustee, to administer assets in the best interests of the beneficiaries and in the most efficient way, in line with your guidance. If you want to access your assets during your lifetime but would like to take advantage of the estate planning benefits of a trust, a pilot trust may be a suitable option.

For many expatriates, pilot trusts are a good wealth management solution that enables their estate planning to roll across generations.

Is a Trust Right For You?

Whether a trust structure is suitable for you will ultimately depend on your personal circumstances, aims and objectives. Blevins Franks can outline all your options – not just trusts – and make tailor-made recommendations to help you find the best solution for your savings, pensions, investments and estate planning.

Contact us about our trust services
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Our Other Services

Alongside trusts advice, we provide a range of services to offer a genuinely holistic approach to financial planning:

Tax planning – minimising the tax you pay on income, gains, pensions, wealth and inheritances

Investments – preserving your wealth through investment strategies tailored for you and your personal circumstances

Estate planning – organising your affairs so that your legacy can be passed to your chosen heirs as tax-efficiently as possible, in both the UK and the country you’re living in

Pensions – protecting your pension funds by exploring all the options, including QROPS, and considering tax implications locally as well as in the UK

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