With much written and discussed on the Trusts Act 2019 the spotlight on family trusts is an excellent opportunity to take look at your trust(s), and whether they are still serving your interests.
But what does a trust review look like?
This will depend on how much time has passed and what has happened during that time. We take you through a checklist, and discuss how the trust is meeting your current requirements. Some things to think about include:
The trustees of the trust
- Who are the current trustees?
- Has the appointment (and retirement/removal) of trustees been adequately documented?
- Are all of the trust’s assets registered in the names of the current trustees?
- Do all of the trustees have a copy of the Trust Deed?
- Have they read it?
The beneficiaries of the trust
- Who are the beneficiaries?
- Do all of the beneficiaries (who are of age) know that the Trust exists; and that they are a beneficiary?
- Do all of the trustees have (and are they likely to continue having) mental capacity?
- Would it be sensible for one or more of the trustees to retire?
- Who is the Appointor – i.e. the person with the power to appoint (and if necessary, remove) trustees?
- Does the Appointor have (and are they likely to continue having) mental capacity?
- Is the legal machinery surrounding the appointment and removal trustees sufficient?
- What is the Trust’s asset vs liability position?
- Has the Trust earned any income during the previous financial year?
- Is there any outstanding gifting to be done?
- Are there any redundant mortgage instruments registered against Trust properties that could be discharged?
- Are the trustees currently guaranteeing any lending?
- Are the Trust’s current compliance costs justified?