Trusts are not just for the super-rich

Published on 6 April 2006

LITRG, in concert with other bodies, has cautioned the government not to move too quickly in changing the tax law around trusts without considering the wider ramifications.

Trusts have been part of English law for centuries. They are mysterious things and not often encountered by those on low incomes. But when they are, it might be as a result of a death, an accident or a loss of capability in dealing with monetary matters.

In such circumstances, a trust, which puts more capable people in charge with a remit to do the right things for those that may not be able to help themselves, can be very valuable.

At the same time trusts have been used to help mitigate tax liabilities, particularly inheritance taxes for those with significant wealth.

But when a government is intent on stopping the use of trusts for tax planning, they must pause and reflect on what they might be doing to those where no such intent is evident.

Those who are “income poor” but “property rich” also deserve consideration as their “care home fund” (as many would see their homes) can be tied up in trusts.

LITRG is calling on the government for more time to ensure that the interests of the vulnerable and deserving can be properly considered in the mad rush to counter tax avoidance.

Contact Name: Robin Williamson (Tel: 0844 579 6700; Fax: 0844 579 6701)