Trust and Fiduciary

Trust and Fiduciary

A trust is an arrangement by which one or several people, usually members of a single family, transfer their assets to a trusted person, the trustee, who is charged with acting in the best interests of one or several beneficiaries. The trust is probably the most efficient way of transferring wealth.

For many people, the assets you accumulate during your lifetime generally become the foundation of your family's financial security. A trust could be right for you if you have any of these estate planning objectives: support a beneficiary with special needs; provide income to a loved one for life without the burden or responsibility of managing the trust's assets; provide ongoing support to a favourite charity; maintain privacy unlike a will, a trust agreement can remain a private document between you and your trustee; continue the education or support of a beneficiary, such as a child or grandchild; Hold in trust a family member's share of your estate until the individual reaches an age you consider appropriate; hold an important asset, such as a cottage or family business; provide for children from a previous marriage while providing for your present spouse during their lifetime. Estates are best handled through the creation of a trust that is administered by an impartial, independent, experienced and regulated corporate trustee.
Your trustee must have expertise in many areas such as asset valuation and management, tax reporting, family wealth transfer, business succession, planned giving and gift administration. We have lengthy experience in all these areas.


In essence it is a privately owned company that acts as appointed trustee, usually for a family trust or group of trusts. It is a trust company, albeit one that does not act commercially for any third party trusts. PTCs are often, but by no means exclusively, at the heart of a Family Office established to run a family's affairs. Traditionally, settlors have appointed professionals, family members or friends to act as trustees of their settlements. Though this has proved perfectly acceptable historically, the increased burden and risk on trustees nowadays means that many individuals are reluctant to accept the role.


The discretionary trust is a very flexible form of trust. In these trusts the trustees have discretion as to how, when, and for whose benefit to use some or all of the capital and income of the trust fund. Beneficiaries or a class of beneficiaries are named in the trust deed and it is entirely up to the trustees to decide which of the potential beneficiaries is to benefit. They are useful where the person setting up the trust (known as the settlor) has identified a group of people he wishes to benefit, for example children, but is not certain which of them will need financial help in the future or what help will be required. Sometimes a settlor has a main beneficiary in mind but feels it is inappropriate to put the money in that person's control.


A reserved powers trust may be suitable if you wish to retain a degree of control over how your assets are managed, such as decisions affecting investments and addition and removal of beneficiaries. This type of trust may also be ideal if your primary objective is not mitigating tax liabilities.


With this type of trust, the number of beneficiaries and their relative shares are fixed at the outset. For example, a trust might be established for a handicapped child to ensure that the child will be properly cared for if the parents or guardians die.


The terms of a purpose trust must define the valid purpose(s) to which the trust fund may be applied. Under most jurisdictions (common law) a trust for non-charitable purposes - a purpose trust must not be so uncertain that its performance is rendered impossible, contrary to public policy, or immoral. There are no other limitations imposed by law. A trust established to hold assets or to exercise functions is expressly stated to be valid. The law also envisages hybrid trusts where there may be beneficiaries and purposes. Without beneficiaries there is no ascertainable person to enforce a non-charitable purpose trust. Therefore an 'enforcer' must be appointed to act in most jurisdictions.

We can provide advice and support on all aspects of trusts, with the following services:

-          Coming up with potential structures that satisfy the client's needs;

-          Setting up trusts, foundations and other structures in different countries;

-          Handling administrative tasks and management of client structures;

-          Monitoring the implementation of requirements and instructions.

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