We are approached regularly by new clients asking us to have a look over trust arrangements which have been set up their behalf, with the help of a former legal advisor. This is frequently in connection with trusts that are branded as ‘Family Protection Trusts’ (or ‘Asset Protection Trusts’). Here are some of the questions we are most commonly asked:-
What is a Family Protection Trust (or Asset Protection Trust)?
It is a type of discretionary trust, normally set up by individuals or couples, with a view to protecting assets from Inheritance Tax, residential care fees, or a range of other risks (bankruptcy, divorce etc).
What ‘assets’ can a Family Protection Trust hold?
A trust can hold any type of asset, but commonly will hold residential property, cash, and/or investments.
Who can benefit from the Family Protection Trust?
That depends on the terms of the 'trust deed' (which is the document that establishes the trust in the first place). Normally with these type of trusts, the persons who originally set up the trust can benefit, along with their children and grandchildren.
Are Family Protection Trusts a good idea?
In some circumstances Family Protection Trusts work well, but in other cases they can add an unnecessary level of complexity to your affairs and at the same time fail to give the protections you want.
What if I want to get rid of my Family Protection Trust? Is it too late to dismantle the Trust, once it has already been set up?
The Trustees can bring a trust to an end by signing a deed. But before doing so, you need to understand all the implications of that, particularly in relation to tax.
How much will it cost for Murray Beith Murray to advise me on this?
We normally offer clients two options (1) a free half-hour consultation to provide our initial view on your options, or (2) a one-hour meeting at which we can provide initial advice and followed-up with a short written report for a fixed fee.
What if I have an English Family Protection Trust?
No problem, we can advise on both Scottish and English trusts.
If you’re worried about your Family Protection Trust, or just want to check that it is still right for you, then get in touch today and we can offer you peace of mind. We can help you to understand what your options are before committing to any significant costs.
A permanent summary of the above questions can be found on the Asset Protection/ Family Protection Trusts page.
Specialist Family Protection/Asset Protection Trust Solicitors, Edinburgh
As an Associate within the Asset Protection group, Fraser Scott advises clients on a broad range of private client matters and he is a trust specialist. To get in touch, call on 0131 225 1200 or complete our contact form.
Murray Beith Murray was established in 1849, as advisors for generations of clients, committed to our values of integrity, expertise and trust. This aim and these values continue to this day as does our commitment to be here when you need us.