Trusts & Estate Planning
At Lawson West we have specialist, qualified solicitors with years of experience in advising and helping clients to set up and administer different types of tax efficient trusts.
Meet the Team
The members of our Probate and Wills team who advise on trusts and the administration of trusts include:
STEP is a leading international network and
professional association for practitioners dealing with
family inheritance and succession planning. Read more about STEP here.
Trust and Estate Planning Support for Trustees
We provide independent advice as solicitors on the types of estate planning trusts available. We can:
set up different types of trust and advise new trustees about their responsibilities and any obligations or help with issues that might arise during the lifetime of a trust
advise family members on family trust arrangements, including trusts for disabled family members
advise on trusts for Inheritance Tax planning purposes and estate planning
advise on older trusts which may need investigating, reviewing or updating
advise on multiple trusts that run concurrently
advise business owners requiring help with their business interests such as complex portfolios, sometimes linked to property trust, advice on business property tax relief, and general advisory services about business tax implications and the estate planning needs of business owners, directors and their families.
Types of Trust
Trusts are a legal arrangement between a trustee - who manages the assets on behalf of another person called the beneficiary. Trusts enable a settlor to pass on assets such as property, savings and investments to the beneficiaries. Certain trust structures can be used to help to mitigate tax, such as inheritance tax (IHT) between family members and are commonly used in Wills. Our solicitors can help you to calculate the best trust for your purposes taking into account personal income, estate income, business assets, personal assets and tax allowance thresholds. Different types of trust are used in different ways and each has different tax implications. Examples are:
Life Interest Trusts (LITs)
Vulnerable Person Trusts
Inter Vivos and Will Trusts
Life Interest Trusts can be written into your Will. They are often used to help protect the ownership of property rights and can help to define the ownership of a property should one partner/spouse pass away or need residential care. LITs are also useful vehicles to pass assets on to children of previous marriages or former partners.
Discretionary Trusts are often used by trustees to make ad hoc and/or occasional payments to help support beneficiaries, for example, disabled or special needs family members. Occasional payments to include loans are made on their behalf from the trust fund and sanctioned by the trustees. A discretionary trust could be enacted on the death of a parent, for example, and its purpose to care for a specific person stipulated in the deceased’s Will.
Most trusts are required to be set-up as a legal trust entity with HMRC and annual trust accounts prepared each year, there are different tax regimes that apply depending on the trust in question. Lawson West can help advise on how to go about these aspects of trust administration.
There are three main types of charity structure:
Corporate structures such as Charitable incorporated organisations (CIO) - A CIO is halfway between an unincorporated association and a company limited by guarantee, suitable for charities being run entirely by the trustees and is commonly used to set-up the structure of modern-day charities where, for example, land will be held and contracts entered not (such as employing individuals).
Our STEP professional solicitors can advise trustees on the correct legal structure for the charity and how to set up a governing document and registration with the Charities Commission, who also provide a wealth of helpful information on their website.
At Lawson West we also provide an independent review of trust documentation to identify where irregularities might have occurred in the past administration of a trust. Sometimes, where a trustee has acted outside the scope of their powers we can call on our Dispute Resolution team to determine if any oversight is worthy of dispute negotiation or even litigation.
Our Network of Advisers
Our wide network and relationships with trusted local and national financial planning experts mean that no area of trust and estate planning can’t be dealt with.
We work closely with barristers locally and in Birmingham, Cambridge and London to seek legal opinion on litigation matters and we have experience of instructing London QCs at the very top level of legal advocacy in contentious trust matters.
“If you would like to investigate settling assets for a defined period for a specified purpose, and to cater for a specified individual or for a group’s needs, then a trust may be of assistance to you as part an estate planning review. We can help you in giving you options to consider.”
Our expert team of trust solicitors are keen to help you, please Contact Us here.