The management of family trusts

A review of a sample of our trust files indicates that in some cases there are significant administration and documentation gaps. It is also possible that some trustees may be unaware of some or even all of their responsibilities in that role.

As accountants, we have a duty of care not just to inform our clients of such responsibilities, but also to assist them to put in place a more formal structure for their trust. The more robust the structure and related procedures a trust has, the greater the benefit in the event of a challenge by a third party. Many trusts were formed to protect against this sort of challenge, so taking these steps can only be in the further interests of the beneficiaries.

Later this year we are planning to offer our trust clients, who have not already been reviewed, the opportunity to have the administration and management of their trusts reviewed. This will include:

  • Checking that all deeds and minutes are up to date and on file
  • Checking that registers recording trustees, beneficiaries, significant events and gifting programmes are properly maintained
  • Ensuring that the Trustees are undertaking a regular and appropriate review of trust investments and other strategies for the future
  • Checking that your wills, powers of attorney and memorandum of wishes are up to date.

You don’t have to do anything at this stage. We will be contacting our trust clients directly with this service offer.

Spring 2015.

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