An assett protection trust is a separate legal entity that holds property or assets of some kind for the benefit of a specific person or group of people known as the beneficiary or beneficiaries. The person appointed to oversee or manage the trust is called the trustee.
To avoid the problems of gifting assets to individuals
Gifts of the family home to individuals can cause problems. For example:
1. The person receiving the gift (the “donee”) can dispose of the property against the wishes of the person making it (the “donor”).
2. The donor at some point in the future may want to move home. If they have transferred their home they will need the consent of the donor to move.
3. The donor may lose their home if the donee becomes bankrupt or gets divorced.
4. The donee may become liable for capital gains tax in the future.
5. The donor’s entitlement to means tested state benefits may be affected.
6. A dispute may arise between the donor and the donee about maintaining the property.
To avoid these pitfalls the donor can consider gifting their property into a trust.
To protect the interests of vulnerable people
Disabled persons trusts are available for those suffering from a physical or mental disability. Provision can be made for a vulnerable person in lifetime or through a will. A trust set up for a disabled person may attract favourable tax treatment compared with other trusts. A disabled person can be one of several potential beneficiaries in a lifetime discretionary trust. Each type of trust has its own tax regime and therefore consideration must be taken before deciding which type of trust is best for the vulnerable person.
To avoid care fees
Transfer of an asset into a trust does not guarantee avoidance of care fees. Local authorities can, when deciding a claim for assistance, look for evidence of deliberate or intentional deprivation of capital. A transfer of capital will be regarded as deliberate if a person transfers an asset out of his or her possession in order to put him or herself in an improved position to obtain assistance. Deprivation must be deliberate and its effect must reduce resources available to pay care home fees which are clearly and to the knowledge of the person making the gift likely to fall due in the near future. It need not be the only motive; it must be a significant one. Whilst the purpose of setting up the trust may not be to avoid care fees, its implementation may have this effect. In the context of planning for any future financial risks, it is always better to have a position to negotiate from. If assets are in a person’s name they are always open to attack and claims of third parties against that person. Distancing oneself from the legal ownership enables a negotiating stance to be taken and may make it more likely than not that residential and nursing care fees are avoided.
To avoid inheritance tax
Inheritance Tax (IHT) is a cumulative tax that applies to transfers made on death and during lifetime. It is payable on transfers made in excess of the nil rate band. The nil rate band is a value of assets on which IHT is not paid or said to be paid at “nil rate”. At present the nil rate band is £325,000 per person. Tax rate on death is 40% and on lifetime transfers 20%. A trust may be useful where you wish to make a lifetime gift to avoid tax but do not want to make a gift to an individual.
Asset protection through the provision of trust is complex. It is important to have the right information and guidance to make an informed decision. We have an experienced team of professional advisers who can help you decide how best to protect your assets so they can be enjoyed in later life and passed to the next generation.
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S&S offices have a calm atmosphere and on the telephone. I had clear legal advice which was completely accurate and down to earth. This helps when to go to a solicitor, sometimes in a state of unknowing and worry. I had quite severe concerns, things did go wrong and I found the atmosphere of calmness and in going forward toward solving matters reassuring.
WE used Stennett and Stennett to enact a power of attorney and when my father subsequently died they dealt with the financial affairs of his estate and the sale of the house. This was done sensitively and efficiently, keeping the family informed at all times of how things were progressing.
Michael Stennett has handled our family's business over the last few years with great professionalism and charm. I am aware that our case has been extremely challenging and complex and am delighted that we have achieved a satisfactory outcome in the end. Thank you for your patience and perseverence - I would gladely recommend Stennett and Stennett's services to anyone!
They took the time to explain all of the procedures and answer my questions, no matter how trivial they were. They were professional throughout and made sure that our options were always clear and provided guidance without being forceful. They are very efficient and represent excellent value for money. Alison Allen is one of the most professional and helpful people I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with and made the whole process so easy.
My meeting with Michael Stennett following the death of my husband was sympathetic, supportive and informative on the many issues about which I was concerned. It was a very positive experience given the difficult time. Thank you.
We can thoroughly recommend Davinder Salhan at Stennet & Stennett and would like to thank her for making a complicated transaction so easy for us. She was extremely pleasant, as well as highly efficient throughout and we would have no hesitation in returning to her for any future business.
At a time when I was most vulnerable, It was nice to be able to let someone deal with a difficult situation, in the form of Probate. Also to advise me on my own will, and Power of Attorney.
Very helpful .The process was time comsumimg as explained to me by Mr Stennett.Was helpful throughout the whole process and so was Debbie. The only thing i would suggest is to call back or respins to emails in a much more timely fashion.
I would like to take this opportunity in thanking Team Stennett & Sennett for the service, I received during the sale & purchase of my property. Davinder is and asset to Stennett & Stennett, she is very professional and responsive. She explained everything in detail. I was always kept informed throughout the process of the sale and purchase. I would definitely recommend her to friends and family for future legal help and advice.
Michael Stennett made the whole process of organising the new wills for my parents extremely easy; his efficiency and helpfulness were exemplary. Michael explained all the legalize in layperson's terms and so enabled us to make sensible decisions for the future. We came away from this experience very satisfied.
Stennett & Stennett is a pleasant place to visit. Our solicitor was helpful, we were kept well informed on the progress of our house sale. We will be happy to use the service again in the future.
I recently visited Stennett & Stennett Solicitors in order to complete my will. The documentation that I received when made my appointment was clear and enabled me to prepare for my meeting. The meeting was relaxed, informative and less than one hour. Michael made sensible and necessary amendments and I returned within two weeks to sign the official paper work. I am confident that my affairs are now in order, and it was great ti finally get it off my to-do list!
By advising us and carrying out our instructions in a professional and friendly manner.
Stennett & stennett solicitors were excellent specially the solicitor who was on charge of iury case
We are very grateful to have found such a sterling team -professional, reassuring, efficient and friendly.
Made a lot of effort to explain the legal niceties of the outcomes that would take place for the various scenarios that we had to consider in our will. A masterclass in making the complicated simple and straightforward. Good local service and friendly staff, highly recommended.
Davinder Salhan gave us a very professional service. She kept us updated and answered questions quickly. It was obvious that she knew what she was talking about. The most important aspect was that she showed understanding for how stressful it is to sell a property including extending the lease, showed compassion and gave us confidence in the process.
straight forward no nonsense professional service.excellent .AAAA
Informative, helpful, friendly and efficient.
Stennett & Stennett
4 Winchmore Hill Road
DX: 34305 Southgate
Stennett and Stennett is the trading name of Stennett and Stennett Ltd registered in England and Wales under CRN 7666275 and whose registered address is:
4 Winchmore Hill Road, Southgate, London, N14 6PT. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority no. 564879