The Succession Trust (TST)
A Trust is a legal arrangement where one or more 'Trustees' are made legally responsible for holding assets securely on behalf of the person who wishes to safeguard their assets for future generations, known as the ‘Settlor’. The assets are predominantly property based but can include money, shares or other possessions, which are placed in Trust for the benefit of one or more chosen 'Beneficiaries' (usually your children and their bloodline, but can be for the benefit of others). Once the Trust has been created, the assets you have chosen to protect are held within it.
Trustees are responsible for managing the Trust and carrying out the wishes of the person who has put the assets into Trust, and are set out in a legal document called 'The Trust Deed.' As Settlor, you retain control of the Trust during your lifetime. You appoint the Trustees of your choice, and you have the power to 'hire and fire' them at any time. You may also appoint an additional advisor know as a ‘Protector’; it could be a professional advisor such as your accountant, or indeed a friend with professional experience. A Protector works as a referee with the Trustees to ensure your wishes set out within your Trust are fulfilled.
If you become incapable of managing your affairs your Trustees, and your Protector if you appoint one, will then have the power to act on your behalf. You are named as Principal Beneficiary and you retain full benefit of the assets within the Trust at all times. You must receive a benefit from the Trust for it to work effectively. Whilst you or your partner is living within a property held within the Trust, this qualifies as a benefit.
If you cease to live in your own home for whatever reason and no other person resides in the property, you will still continue to receive a benefit from the Trust. A decision should then be made as to whether the property is sold or rented out. Any rental income received will be assessed by the local authority and taxed in the usual manner; the capital value of your home will remain protected by the Trust. If your house is sold, the capital sum will also remain protected within the Trust but any interest or investment income paid to you will be assessed.
After your death, the assets within the Trust can be paid to specific Beneficiaries or retained in the Trust for their benefit.
By holding your assets within The Succession Trust (TST), you can have peace of mind in knowing that the inheritance of your children and your chosen Beneficiaries is secured. In the event that, for instance, one of your children goes through a divorce or your spouse remarries after your death, your assets are safe for your Beneficiaries and cannot be claimed by a new spouse.
The AAP Trustees are committed to duty of care; to enhance and protect Trust assets, and to manage Trusts in accordance with Governing laws.