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 answers to some of the most commonly asked questions:
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.
Specialist Trusts Solicitors, Edinburgh
We’re dedicated to helping our clients solve problems and preserve their wealth, providing certainty of continuity. Our highly personal service reflects our culture, which is centred on integrity, trust and expertise, and the guidance we provide has been designed to be an investment, not an expense, allowing us to work with generations of the same family. For more information, please contact us today by calling on 0131 225 1200 or complete our contact form.