Trusts frequently feature as an important part of a family’s inter-generational wealth and succession planning, for many diverse reasons. Fundamentally, they can be used to preserve capital and provide an income stream for current and future generations of a family.
The tax treatment of trusts can be complex. UK resident trusts are subject to income tax and CGT in their own right and many are subject to Inheritance Tax every 10 years. Trustees are also required to enter information about the trust, its terms, its assets, its settlor and beneficiaries on a trust register.
Administering a trust in the UK has considerable responsibilities associated with it. Some of these are compliance and reporting responsibilities such as the bookkeeping of transactions, the preparation of accounts for the trust, the preparation of trust tax returns, ensuring that entries on the trust register are properly updated and that any regulatory disclosures are made accurately and on a timely basis. Other requirements are less routine. Trustees need careful guidance in making decisions about trust assets and the trust fund itself, especially where they are required to exercise their discretion in making distributions of income and capital to beneficiaries, making loans etc. A professional understanding of trust law and trustee responsibilities is crucial.
This is why we often act as trustee alongside our clients, where trusts form part of their family succession planning. We prefer to do this through our trust corporation, The R&H Trust Co (UK) Ltd, since this offers flexibility (most of our private client partners are also directors of the trust corporation) and continuity, since the problems and costs encountered when replacing or appointing a trustee on the retirement or death of an individual are avoided. Our partners are experienced in dealing sensitively with the demands of a trustee’s role. They are used to dealing with the demands of multiple jurisdictions and the complex regulatory, tax and reporting requirements involved. They actively seek solutions tailored to ensure that, while the trust assets are preserved and can grow, the beneficiaries’ interests are maintained. They understand that full accountability and efficient administration are essential, coupled with an ability to deal sensitively with beneficiaries at every stage in life.
Our highly experienced trust team handles all aspects of trustee accounting and administration, as well as dealing with the accounting and administration of estates and charities. The team also offers a range of services to Family Offices, including the ground-breaking wealth reporting offering.