Is a family trust still right for me?

Published by Vanessa Crosby on November 18, 2011

Obviously the imminent abolition of gift duty has focussed peoples attention on trusts and whether a trust is something they should be considering. 

Trusts have come under attack recently from some quarters however there are still a number of valid reasons why you might want a family trust namely: 

Creditor protection.  A trust still makes it more difficult for creditors to access your assets provided you meet certain criteria and take certain steps when your assets are transferred. 

Cutting out a wayward child.  Wills are easier to challenge than trusts so again trusts may be more effective in this area.  

Security during relationship breakup.  Those entering new relationships often feel more secure if their assets are in trust. This is very dependant on timing and a trust alone may not be enough to protect you.

Protection for your child in the event of relationship breakdown.  If you are unsure about your childs choice of partner a trust can ensure that they don’t end up having to share half the asset they inherited from you with that partner if they subsequently split. 

Wise old eyes.  Setting up a trust with trustees can be a means of providing a loved one who you are leaving behind with one or more advisers who can help them manage their affairs. 

Introducing complexity.  Sometimes a trust can add a level of protection simply because it is too hard or expensive to try and unravel. 

Secrecy – private trusts unlike companies do not have to be registered and do not have to provide financial statements in any form available to the public. 

If in doubt discuss your personal situation with your lawyer.

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