Do you know the origins of trust law and the key rules applying to-day?
Do you know a settlement from a trust? Do you know what to do about CRS, DAC or other AEOI issues? When you draft a Will do you know how you would administer the trusts you have included or how they will be taxed?
Trusts are a wonderful piece of English jurisprudence of which we should be justly proud but are dangerous beasts in the hands of those unfamiliar with their UK taxation and administration. Fear not, I am steeped in the taxation and practical administration of trusts and can happily guide you through the basics to enable you to set up and close down trusts in an appropriate way. Or help you choose the appropriate trust to meet your client’s objectives.
The recent high profile leak of the Panama Papers has put lack of tax transparency in the headlines. Sadly, trusts can be used to shelter assets from tax – sometimes legitimately and sometimes not. This is not the fault of trusts – after all, people can use companies in an equally underhand way.
Trusts are used for positive motives by most UK clients, such as protecting assets from poor decision making, divorce and profligacy; protecting an inheritance for children both minor and adult, able-bodied and disabled. Clients don’t just want to use them to save tax.
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For the international client who may be coming to live in the UK it may be essential to set up a trust to hold non-UK assets before there is any chance she or he could become deemed domiciled here. This would be with the aim of ensuring appropriate jurisdictional rules applied to the assets in the trust.
Fiscal rules are regularly altered and administrative processes and procedures have to be adapted. Many people still talk about accumulation & maintenance trusts even though we have not been able to make new ones since 2008!
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