What is a Trust?

A Trust is a legal arrangement where one or more ‘Trustees’ are made legally responsible for holding assets. The assets – such as property, shares, money, land or even personal belongings – are placed in Trust for the benefit of one or more ‘Beneficiaries’

What is a Trustee?

The Trustees are responsible for managing the Trust and carrying out the wishes of the person who has put the assets into Trust, known as the Settlor. The Settlor’s wishes for the Trust are usually written in their Will or set out in a legal document called ‘the Trust Deed.’

There must be at least one Trustee, often there are two.  Trustees can be family members, relatives and even professionals, such as a Solicitor.  The role of a Trustee is to deal with Trust assets, manage the Trust on a day to day basis, pay any tax due on the income or chargeable gains of the Trust and decide how to invest the Trust’s assets. Trusts are set up to control and protect family assets, perhaps when someone is too young to handle their affairs or cannot handle their affairs because they have lost mental capacity.

What is a Beneficiary?

A Beneficiary is anyone who benefits from the assets held in the trust. There can be one or more Beneficiaries and each Beneficiary may benefit from the Trust in a different way.  Some may benefit from income only, capital only or both.

Possible Tax Implications?

There are several types of UK family Trusts which may be taxed differently and non-family Trusts, for example, employers may want to create a pension scheme for their staff or to operate as a charity.

The cash and investments held in a Trust are also called the Trust ‘capital’ or ‘fund’. This capital or fund may produce income, such as interest on savings or dividends on shares. The land and buildings may produce rental income. Assets may also be sold producing gains for the Trust. The way income is taxed depends on the type of income and the type of trust.

For further help with Trusts and possible tax implications contact our team today.


The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).

Our experienced team also includes a number of solicitors who are accredited by STEP, whose members are required to acquire additional technical qualifications and are subject to a Code of Professional Conduct, which requires them at all times to act with integrity and in a manner that inspires the confidence, respect and trust of their clients and of the wider community.  STEP members are also required to keep up to date with the latest legal, technical and regulatory developments.

SFE members are all specialists in older client law, but what sets SFE members apart from other lawyers are their specialist client care skills that enable them to advise and support older and vulnerable clients.  – click here to view our Code of Practice and Client Care Procedures.  Samantha Loombe is an Associate Member of SFE.