An Introduction To Family Trust Administration: What A Good North Shore Family Trust Lawyer Can Do
A family trust is an arrangement intended to protect and nurture the significant property and assets that a family accumulates over the course of many years. Ownership of the assets placed in the trust is tied to the trust deed rather than to any one person. Assets that might be included in a family trust include stocks, real estate, bonds, certificate of deposit, and many more types. The range of different assets that can be collected into a single trust makes it helpful or downright necessary to turn management of the trust over to an experienced and capable professional.
Trusts are governed by their own specialised laws, and the oversight required to ensure that legal obligations are fully met can be difficult for a layperson to exercise. A suitable trustee for a family trust must be trustworthy, vigilant, competent, and accountable for all that he or she does to manage the trust’s assets. There are also complex tax implications to consider in managing a trust properly. This is why it is vital to work with a qualified and experience North Shore Family Trust Lawyer if you want to set up a trust for your family.
Trust administration is a job that can – and should – go beyond simply conserving the assets placed in the trust. A good administrator will also keep comprehensive records and documentation of all decisions and changes that affect the trust. Administrators should also be able to deliver useful and actionable advice to the trust’s beneficiaries. Doing the administrator’s job properly requires significant training in financial planning, investment management, banking, tax reporting, family transfer law, estate planning, and more. Philanthropic experience is often useful or vital; many trusts are devoted to charitable activity that requires skilled oversight. Record-keeping is vitally important because the trust administrator needs to be able to document every detail of the trust for tax and legal authorities. The ongoing demands of managing a trust make it a good idea to put administration responsibilities in the hands of an effective North Shore family trust lawyer.
Trusts have been used for centuries to hold onto property and assets in a way that is thoroughly transparent and accountable. Its long history has made the trust system thoroughly reliable for a wide range of family asset protection needs. Trusts are vital tools in organizing and preserving any family’s wealth.
At its core, a trust is an instrument which allows a family to turn over the ownership of significant assets to a persistent entity instead of an individual. With proper trust documentation, assets assigned to the ownership of the trust (such as residential homes) can still be used by members of the family. A family trust shields individual members of the family from creditors and makes it easier to protect money for known or unknown needs in the future.
Trusts also simplify the process of passing assets down from one generation to another. They can protect family members from dealing with predatory asset claims. In certain cases, a properly-structured trust can even ease the tax burden experienced by members of the family. Note that trusts do have their own special tax considerations that have to be addressed.
As noted above, a trust can be a useful tool for families that wish to dedicate some portion of their assets to charitable activities – foundations, endowments, and so forth. Modern technology opens up a global playing field for charitable work, which is why charity experience is more important than ever before for trust administrators.
In previous generations, bankers were the most common professionals tapped to manage family trusts. The increasingly-complex web of considerations attached to many modern trusts has encouraged families to seek administrators with more diverse skill-sets. A North Shore family trust lawyer will often be called on to both establish and manage family trusts, and the best of them are amply stocked with useful skills. These include managing real estate, insurance, securities, international investments, and much more.
McVeagh Fleming are well-established North Shore family trust lawyers. You can find more information on their website www.mcveaghfleming.co.nz.