Use a Family or Corporate Trust – Asset Trust and Protection
October 10, 2019
Estate planning is a sensitive subject for many families. Managing a large amount of assets and ensuring that future generations are protected can present a variety of challenges. One is to select the right trustee.
In many cases, estate planning involves the use of trusts. When setting up a trust, several questions need to be asked and carefully answered, from the purpose of the trust and what assets will be held by the trust, to whether it will be a national or international trust and whether to use a family or corporate trust.
Today, we will share some of our insights regarding the last question, the choice of fiduciary. Although we are not legal advisors, this topic routinely comes up in conversations with clients, so we decided to share some of our experiences and observations that may be helpful to consider when evaluating your choices.
In most cases, if it is a trust created with your own intent
You are free to name someone as the trustee. Depending on your intentions and the purpose of the trust, you may choose a trustee or corporate or individual trustee. To make the right choice for you, you need to carefully consider and evaluate the problems that are likely to arise when only beneficiaries are there to monitor the trust and its distribution.
These issues will depend on possible family tensions, the nature of the trust’s assets, as well as the location and complexity of the assets. Needs may differ if the trust is intended to consolidate assets for inheritance only, or if it is intended to provide asset protection. It is also important to consider whether the assets are domestic or internationally held in more complex structures.
It is also crucial to keep in mind that the role of a trustee is primarily administrative work, comparable to running a small business. It requires very accurate record keeping of all transactions, regular accounting reports and strict compliance with critical deadlines.
It also requires meticulous attention and compliance with regulatory requirements and careful monitoring of relevant changes and developments. In addition, the trustee must represent the trust in all legal proceedings if they arise.
Put Your Trust In Nevis Through A Trust
An individual trustee can be a spouse, a child or other relative, or even a family friend. The main benefit of choosing your trustee from your family circle and close friends is that he or she is likely to have personal knowledge of your original desires and goals when setting up the trust, as well as being aware of changes in people’s circumstances that you originally intended to benefit from.
However, while family members and friends often have good intentions, they are not always the best fiduciary / stewards, as the burden they end up with maybe far greater than initially anticipated. It may seem incomprehensible, but friction and internal conflict are much more likely to occur when a family member or friend is appointed as a trustee. Other family members may feel that the person in charge is not right, they may not agree with the decisions made, and may try to influence the trustee. In addition, unforeseen conflicts of interest may arise in the future. Ultimately, individual trustee can end up at a very complicated time for your loved ones.
When it comes to costs, naming a family member or friend as the trustee tends to be less expensive. However, keep in mind that an individual trustee may not have the knowledge and experience necessary to navigate an evolving legal system and to properly administer the trust over a long period of time, which may result in additional expenses for external expert advice. .
It should be determined based on the purpose of the trust and assets it will have, even if it is national or international and if it is necessary to use a family or corporate administrator.
On the other hand
Using a corporate trust could alleviate some of these issues. Generally, the corporate trustee will have a specialization in trust management. They will have the in-house experience and knowledge to manage all aspects of their role during the trust term, which can often be multi-generational, and will also have the resources to manage and navigate complex issues.
Also, they will certainly have no previous relationship with their family members. As a result, corporate trustees can maintain a more objective relationship with their beneficiaries by fulfilling their wishes and intentions as you originally envisioned them. Finally, depending on the jurisdiction of the corporate trustee, they are likely to be regulated, so you can have more assurance that they will comply with the trust instructions and any related agreements.
The main disadvantage of a corporate trust as compared to an individual may be the expenses. For this option to be effective, you need to clearly understand the fee structure and negotiate terms that you think provide the right balance between costs and benefits. Also, before choosing a corporate trustee, you should conduct in-depth research on the trust company and get a clear picture of how the organization works, and if you and your beneficiaries will be comfortable with the institution.
In general, each situation is unique and there is no right answer when it comes to choosing the trustee. Whether your trust is best served by a family member or friend, or a corporate trustee, or a mix of both, will depend on the goals you set and the particular circumstances of your beneficiaries.
Finally, regardless of who you chose to serve as trustees, always keep in mind that everyone’s circumstances can change. Thus, developing a close relationship with the chosen trustee and keeping them updated on important events and developments will help ensure that the trust is able to support its beneficiaries at a time of need while still being able to achieve long-term goals.