The structures into which you can transfer your assets can have lasting consequences for you and your family, and it is crucial that you choose the right ones. The right structures can protect assets and give your family lasting benefits. A trust can be used to reduce how much Inheritance Tax (IHT) your estate will have to pay on your death.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of trust to choose from: a Discretionary Trust and Bare Trust.
A trust, in principle, is a very simple concept. It is a legal arrangement where the ownership of someone’s assets (such as property, shares or cash) is transferred to someone else (usually a small group of people or a trust company) to manage and benefit a third person (or group of people). An appropriate trust can be used to reduce how much IHT your estate will have to pay on your death.
A discretionary trust offers flexibility when it comes to deciding who you would like to be the beneficiaries. The appointer can appoint benefits to the beneficiaries of the discretionary trust. With a discretionary trust, there are possible tax liabilities to be aware of. On creation of the trust, IHT might be payable. IHT may also become payable if you die within seven years of the creation of the trust. Depending on the value of assets in the trust, there could be further charges to consider during the lifetime of the trust.
A bare trust ensures that, once named, the beneficiaries cannot be changed or added to in the future. Once a beneficiary has reached the age of 18, they can ask for the trust to pay their share to them directly. The major advantage of bare trusts over discretionary trusts is that they are classed as potentially exempt transfers (PETs) with no immediate or ongoing IHT charges, provided the creator of the trust survives more than seven years from the date of the transfer.
If you would like to discuss trusts in more detail, please contact the office and we can arrange a consultation with one of our advisers.