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Keeping it in the family

Wednesday 22 February 2017
Keeping it in the family

In the latest edition of luxury property magazine, Abode2, Chris Cotillard offers a brief overview of setting up and managing an offshore family trust in Jersey.

Here's the article in full:

When you work hard all your life to ensure a comfortable retirement, and security for your family after you’re gone, you want your effort to be worthwhile. This means making suitable arrangements for your assets and a family trust enables you to do this while retaining an influence over exactly who receives what and when. 

The key advantage of a family trust is that your assets are effectively removed from your estate, meaning that:

  • Family assets are kept together to be preserved and enhanced for future generations. 
  • Beneficiaries too young or vulnerable to control their own assets are protected.
  • A trust is a very flexible instrument meaning that as wishes change or beneficiaries’ personal circumstances change, the trust can adapt. 
  • Family assets in trust may be able to be protected from the risk of loss, for example in the event of divorce. 

Setting up a trust – a very quick overview

Step 1: Identify the Trustee (the company or professional who will look after the assets) and the Beneficiary (the person(s) who may receive the assets and/or the income from them).

Step 2: Drawing up the Deed. Expert guidance at this point ensures nothing important is left out, the documents outline your wishes and that no conflicts should occur in the future.

Step 3: The final step for the trust to become active is for the initial settled funds to be settled into the trust.

Once the trust deed has been drawn up, signed and the initial settled funds paid to the trustee, you officially become the settlor of a family trust and all that’s left is the ongoing management.

Managing your family trust

In order to consider what needs to be done to maintain your family trust and keep it working as you, the settlor, intended for the benefit of the beneficiaries, a Letter of Wishes is created.

This is the document in which you lay out your specific requests, it is a non-binding document that provides your trustee with guidance on the proper maintenance and distribution of your assets. 

The best-managed trusts are those under the constant supervision of professionals and Alex Picot Trust, we have been looking after families’ assets for generations. We have a well-established reputation for our dedicated and highly personalised services, based on our commitment to helping our clients achieve the results they desire.