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What is a trust?

A trust is a legal arrangement whereby a person (‘the Settlor’) gives assets to other people known as the “Trustees”. The Trustees are made legally responsible for the assets although they are not always beneficially entitled to those assets. The assets are held for the benefit of others (the “Beneficiaries”). You can set up a trust in your lifetime or in your Will. In either case the Trustees then have to manage the assets on behalf of the Beneficiaries according to the terms of the Will or trust deed.

Trusts can be useful for a variety of purposes:-

  • For estate planning purposes
  • When a beneficiary is too young to inherit
  • What a beneficiary is infirm and unable to manage the assets themselves.

There are several different types of trust that can be created. Some further information regarding four of the most common types of trusts are set out below:-

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