I would like to simplify my affairs. Should I consider setting up a company or a trust?
Many of our clients choose to transfer their personal assets to some kind of holding vehicle. They are both useful estate planning tools and can help their beneficial owners to organise and manage their affairs more simply during, and immediately after, their lives. Both structures allow the benefit of a mixed portfolio of assets to be transferred to another person without the need for any form of re-registration or transfer of assets. A company offers the greatest amount of flexibility and typically allows the creator to maintain maximum control. Ownership can be easily changed and, as long as the company’s articles of association are drafted carefully, the creator can choose to either run the company themselves or to appoint someone else to guide and control the company on their behalf. A trust offers similar benefits to a company, but is generally less flexible. Assets are transferred to a personal or professional trustee to hold on behalf of the trust’s beneficiaries and the settlor of the trust benefits from the knowledge that the trustee has an enhanced fiduciary duty to act in the interest of the beneficiaries. Both structures can be established quickly and can, in many cases, be operated simply and without incurring ongoing professional fees.