An equitable obligation, binding a person (called a trustee) to deal with the property over which he has control (the trust property) for the benefit of persons (the beneficiaries) any one of whom may enforce the obligation. In simple terms, a Trust is a way of arranging property (assets) for the benefit of others without giving them control over it.

In the simplest terms, a trust is a popular financial planning tool for those who wish to arrange their property and/or assets for the benefit of others without giving them immediate control over them.

Common reasons to set up a trust are:

  • to provide for the orderly distribution of assets after death
  • to protect the beneficiaries' best interests
  • to allow more than one generation to enjoy the use of a property
  • to reduce income and capital gains tax liabilities


  • Settlor: A person who transfers his assets out of his name and into a trust.
  • Beneficiaries: Named persons who will benefit in some way from the trust asset.

  • Life Tenant: A person (beneficiary) who will have the right to enjoy the trust asset during his lifetime but will never own the asset or have control over it.

  • Trustee: A person who is responsible for looking after the assets and legally obliged to ensure all the trust deed requests are complied with. By law the trustee has a similar role as a company director.

  • Protector: A person appointed by the Settlor to oversee the trustees' decisions. He has no authority over the trust but acts as an advisor to the trustee.

  • Professional Advisors: Such an advisor may be appointed to provide independent and professional investment and legal advice to the trustee where needed.

Trusts are delicate vehicles which must be planned accurately with experts.

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