Families are the central part of our lives. We spend most of our lifetime investing in and safeguarding the well being of our Families so as to ensure to take care of and protect our family members, especially financially, in case of certain eventualities. Trusts are an important tool in estate and succession planning. Trusts enable one to structure all or part of an estate in a manner which maintains supports and protects family members. Because of their flexible nature, Trusts can be designed to cater for the different needs of your family members at different times in their lives, taking into account the circumstances in which they are in at a given point in time.
Some of the benefits of using a Trust as an estate and succession planning tool for families are the following:
- A Trust can be used to segregate a pool of assets, e.g. one’s savings which can be accessed by certain family members only on the happening of a particular event, thereby creating a form of contingency fund;
- Since Trusts can be set-up for a maximum period of 125 years, a Trust enables one to plan the manner in which the estate is to be administered for the benefit of future generations;
- Trusts can administer and manage your estate both during your lifetime as well as following your demise:
- The fact that one can give the Trustees discretion on how to administer and distribute the estate for the benefit of family members, this enables the Trustee to take into consideration the circumstances surrounding the relevant family member at a given point in time, which circumstances will be very difficult to foresee at the outset
- Trusts can be used to protect vulnerable family members, e.g. spendthrifts, since assets are held and administered by the Trustee for that person’s benefit as opposed to the relevant family member owning such property outright;
- The possibility of appointing a family adviser or a close family friend as a Protector of the Trust;
- Trusts provide for a means of safe-guarding one’s estate from being dissipated or divided;
- Trusts also help with avoiding unnecessary disputes between family members as the estate is managed by one professional Trustee in the interests of all;
- A Trust also gives one the peace of mind and serenity that even in case of one’s incapacity or inability to act, the estate is still being taken care of in accordance with one’s wishes.
As is clear from the above the Trust has a wide variety of benefits and can be tailor made specifically to your needs and those of your family members. It is in fact a unique arrangement which can successfully manage your expectations, even following your demise. A crucial factor is to make sure you appoint the right person to manage and administer such an arrangement. EWS Trustees are Professional Trustees with a particular focus on the setting up and management of such Family and Estate Trusts. EWS Trustees have accumulated years of experience in managing and administering such Trusts which has brought with it a high level of sensitivity in dealing with families and their members.
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