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The term “Trust” refers to the legal relationships created (in lifetime or on death) by a person (known as the Settlor) when assets have been placed under the control of a trustee for the benefit of a beneficiary. There are three major types of Trust:

Discretionary Trusts

The trustees of a discretionary trust have discretion as to when to pay the trust income and capital to the beneficiaries.

Interest in Possession Trusts

Until the recent changes to the Inheritance tax treatment of trusts, the interest in possession trust was frequently used. The trustees have a duty to pay the income of the trust to the interest in possession beneficiaries and quite often the trustees would also have been given a discretionary power to terminate that right to income  and distribute the trust capital to other beneficiaries.

Accumulation and Maintenance Trusts

Until the recent changes to the Inheritance tax treatment of trusts, A&M trusts were frequently used. These trusts were set up for the benefit of infants until for example they reached the age of 25 ,when they normally became entitled to the  capital of the trust. Until that date, the trustees would manage the capital, disbursing the trust income for the benefit of the beneficiaries if appropriate ,but accumulating such income if there was no reason to distribute .

Other Trusts

Although there are many other types of trust, for example Trusts for the Disabled, Pilot Trusts, Bare Trusts, Business Property Relief Trusts , these are variants of the three above. A trust may well be  worth considering to protect your family or business  from third party interests and  to ensure that funds end up in the intended place.. However careful consideration must be given to potential tax liabilities and any legal or other  restrictions that may apply.

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