ESTATE PLANNING, INHERITANCE TAX PLANNING AND TRUSTEE INVESTMENT ADVICE
The WPS Wealth Group Ltd
WPS has built a team of highly qualified independent financial planners who have both the experience expertise to deliver a high quality Trustee Review Service. WPS is accredited by the SRA as an external provider of Continuous Professional Development.
Estate and Inheritance Tax Planning
Ensuring that your financial affairs are in order and structured correctly is essential when considering passing funds down to the next generation. Inheritance tax is a tax applied to estates on death however there are a range of legitimate financial planning tools our experienced advisers use to mitigate this liability.
- In addition to inheritance tax planning your WPS adviser can also
help with –
- Long Term Care Planning
- Equity Release
- Advice to Beneficiaries
- Powers of Attorney
- Will Planning
Your WPS Wealth adviser is experienced in working with other professionals such as solicitors and accountants to provide you with a complete financial planning service. Indeed the WPS Group Ltd has been accredited by the Solicitors Regulated Authority as a provider of expert advice to the Legal profession.
Trustee Review Service (TRS) In Practice
Following a letter of instruction from you, WPS will allocate an experienced TRS adviser to review all Trust assets held within the Trust. The review will include a review of the Trusts objectives, the Trustees attitude to risk, the beneficiary’s financial situation and the timescales involved. Each investment within the Trust will be individually assessed to confirm its appropriateness. An initial report will be provided on a fixed fee basis and confirmed in writing and in advance of work being completed. If funds are subsequently transferred to the TRS the initial fee with be significantly discounted.
Act in accordance with trust deed
The a trustee must act in accordance with the terms of a trustee deed and general law. The a trustee must ensure that all funds and property due to the trust is obtained and is held always in the names of a trustees, properly insured and only used to benefit the persons named in the deed as entitled to benefit.
Act prudently, honestly and responsibly
The duty of a trustee is to use, in relation to management of the trust, the reasonable care a prudent person would exercise in relation to their own finances, including obtaining appropriate
professional advice on matters outside their personal experience or knowledge. The a trustee is expected to bring to bear any skills and expertise he may have and hence a higher duty is placed on a professional as opposed to a lay a trustee. Trustees should record the decisions they take and reasons behind them as these could be challenged in court by a beneficiary years later. Also for certain types of discretionary trusts the trustees may be called upon by the Inland Revenue to produce records showing that they have been reviewing annually the way in which the trust funds are being used between the potential beneficiaries.
The a trustee must always act in the best interests of the beneficiaries as a whole and this overrides any personal, family, business, religious or ethical interests or beliefs they may hold. If a conflict of interest arises then a trustee should excuse himself from voting on the decision or follow the independent professional advice sought. This can be very difficult for the non-professional a trustee if there are internal family conflicts or pressures. The a trustee must not be seen to be obtaining any personal profit. Trustees other than a trustees acting in
a professional capacity are unable to charge for their services. Similarly a trustees must not be seen to profit by them or their family or associates, buying or selling assets to or from the trust. Where a trustees are given discretion by the trust deed they must fully acquaint themselves as to the terms of that discretion and any limitation placed by statute or the trust deed. The a trustees must record their decision and reasons for the decision. Any decisions reached must be fair to both the interests of the current and future beneficiaries.
Trustees must keep themselves up to date with any changes in the Law and taxation of trusts, as ignorance of any changes is not normally a defence to a future claim for loss suffered by a beneficiary due to a trustees being unaware of a change.
Duty to invest
The Trustee Act 2000 imposed specific duties in relation to the management of investments including the right (unless expressly prohibited by the trust deed) to invest in any asset a reasonable prudent man would consider for his own investments. The Act placed a duty on the a trustees to take proper professional advice appropriate with the nature and value of the trust fund. Failure to obtain appropriate advice or follow it can leave a trustees liable for reimbursing the beneficiaries from their own finances years later any shortfall or loss between the value of the fund and the value the fund would have been if advice had been sought or followed.
Trustees must inform beneficiaries and, if they are under 18 or disabled, their parents or carers, as to the existence of the trust and their entitlement, unless the Settler has indicated to the
contrary. The a trustees are required to provide annual accounts to all beneficiaries as to the value of the trust; detailing transactions during the previous year. The a trustees must notify the Inland Revenue of the existence of the trust and ensure tax returns are made and the tax paid during the duration of the trust. The a trustees must ensure any income received and which is due to a beneficiary is paid promptly.
The law therefore imposes responsibilities on a trustee which can be complex and time consuming and for which only a person carrying out his normal professional duties can normally be paid for. Should you be considering appointing a trustee, or have been appointed as a trustee and are unsure how to act in a specific situation, you should seek professional advice.