Trusts can play an important role in the disposition, preservation and succession of a family’s wealth. For international families with a UK footprint, there will normally be a preference for a wealth holding structure situated and administered abroad.
The Firm provides trustee services outside the UK through its network of overseas offices. A trustee is often a key figure in the lives of family members and occupies a position of great trust, a role which can only be performed by someone who is fully acquainted with the family’s circumstances and objectives and with whom the beneficiaries of the trust feel able to communicate freely. In our international partners, we have highly experienced individuals in several jurisdictions who, working closely with us and with our clients, provide fiduciary services and administer trust structures with empathy and expertise. Our international partners are based in Jersey, Guernsey, Switzerland, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia. All have a deep understanding of trust law and trust administration.
The tax treatment of UK resident settlors and beneficiaries of non-resident trusts is complicated to say the least. There are many challenges for trustees in properly considering the UK tax consequences of normal trustee actions such as making investments, meeting expenditure and making distributions and loans to UK resident beneficiaries. Trustees also need to ensure that their beneficiaries are adequately advised, and that they receive accurate and timely reporting information to complete their tax returns. This is where our team of specialist tax advisers can provide support.
Through collaboration between the London and overseas offices, we provide a joined up suite of services in relation to non-resident trusts and companies. This includes advising on the potential benefits of trust arrangements in the client’s specific circumstances, calculating and monitoring trust tax pools in order to ascertain the tax treatment of benefits received by beneficiaries, constructing investment guidelines and account structures for tax efficiency, liaising with tax professionals in other countries and advising on all UK tax reporting for the trustees, the settlor and the beneficiaries.
Trusts are not appropriate for all international clients and we would only recommend them where they offer a solution. All trusts are different and great care is required to ensure that their terms meet the requirements of the clients and their families, and that the tax consequences are fully considered.