Different trust solutions to managing your wealth

We can advise you on a range of different trust solutions, each designed with a particular purpose in mind. Some types of trust are treated differently for Inheritance Tax purposes.

 

Many people would like to make gifts to reduce IHT but are concerned about losing control of the money. This is where a trust could help. The rules changed in 2006, making some of them less tax-effective, as a small minority will require you to pay IHT even before you have died, but they’re still worth considering. When talking about trusts, you will hear the terms:

• Settlor – the person setting up the trust

• Trustees – the people tasked with looking after the trust and paying out its assets

• Beneficiaries – the people who benefit from the assets held in trust

There are now three main types of trusts. Any number of different types of investments can be held in a trust, so you should obtain professional financial advice to decide which is best for you.

Bare (Absolute) trusts
With a bare trust, you name the beneficiaries at outset, and these can’t be changed. The assets, both income and capital, are immediately owned and can be taken by the beneficiary at age 18 (16 in Scotland).

Interest in possession trusts
With this type of trust, the beneficiaries have a right to all the income from the trust, but not necessarily the capital. Sometimes, a different beneficiary will get the capital, for example, on the death of the income beneficiary. They’re often set up under the terms of a Will to allow a spouse to benefit from the income during their lifetime but with the capital being owned by their children. The capital is distributed on the remaining parent’s death.

Discretionary trusts
Here the trustees decide what happens to the income and capital throughout the lifetime of the trust and how it is paid out. There is usually a wide range of beneficiaries, but no specific beneficiary has the right to income from the trust.

A few trusts will now have to pay an IHT charge when they are set up, at 10 yearly intervals and even when assets are distributed.

The treatment of trusts for tax purposes is the same throughout the United Kingdom. However, Scottish law on trusts and the terms used in relation to trusts in Scotland are different from the laws of England & Wales and Northern Ireland.