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WHAT IS A DECLARATION OF TRUST AND DO I REALLY NEED ONE?

Updated: Oct 26, 2023


With property prices rising many of us are looking at different ways to buy a property, whether it be with a partner, friend or family member. To protect the interests of all involved, you could put in place a Declaration of Trust.


A Declaration of Trust also known as a Deed of Trust can be prepared when you are buying a property with someone else, or someone else is contributing to the purchase price on completion. A typical example would be where you are buying jointly with your partner or receiving support from your parents to enable you to get on the property ladder.


In these circumstances, it is well-advised for everyone to have their individual contributions protected. Therefore the Declaration of Trust sets this out and is a legally binding document. A Declaration of Trust ensures that each individual receives what they are entitled to when the property is sold. The decision to create a Declaration of Trust protects against any future disagreements or misunderstandings.


The nitty gritty about trusts?

A declaration of trust is an essential legal document that outlines the purpose and responsibilities of a trust, ensuring a clear and visual roadmap for its management. It serves as a written agreement between the settlor, who creates the trust, and the trustee, who manages and distributes the assets within the trust.


This document provides a framework for how the trust should be administered, including the powers and limitations of the trustee, the beneficiaries' rights, and the distribution of assets. Additionally, it helps protect the interests of the beneficiaries by establishing the settlor's intentions and preventing any potential disputes or misunderstandings. A declaration of trust is crucial for any trust arrangement as it provides a solid foundation and legal certainty, ensuring that the trust operates in accordance with the settlor's wishes and the applicable laws.


Ensuring the Legality and Effectiveness of Your Declaration of Trust.

Ensuring the legality and effectiveness of your declaration of trust is crucial in securing the proper management and distribution of your assets and properties. To achieve this, there are certain steps you should take. First, consult with a legal professional who specializes in trust law to ensure that your declaration of trust adheres to all relevant legal requirements and is enforceable in court. They can guide you through the process and provide valuable advice on structuring your trust to meet your specific needs. Additionally, it is important to carefully review the language and provisions of your declaration of trust to ensure that they accurately reflect your intentions and objectives. Any ambiguities or inconsistencies should be clarified to avoid future disputes. Regularly reviewing and updating your declaration of trust is also recommended to ensure that it remains current and aligned with your changing circumstances and wishes.


How do I know if a Declaration of Trust is Right for Me?

Deciding whether or not to create a declaration of trust is a personal choice that requires careful consideration. This legal document serves as a written agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of a trust arrangement. It can provide various benefits, such as asset protection, privacy, and flexibility in estate planning. However, not everyone necessarily needs a declaration of trust. Factors to consider include the size and complexity of your estate, your personal and financial goals, and your desire for privacy. If you have significant assets, want to avoid probate, or wish to maintain control over how your assets are distributed after your death, a declaration of trust may be worth considering. It is advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning to determine if a declaration of trust is the right choice for your specific circumstances.


HOW CAN WE HELP?

Our Wills and Probate team regularly assist with the preparation of a Declaration of Trust. Our experience in conveyancing is paramount as the law surrounding this area is complex. So, if you or someone you know is considering entering into a Declaration of Trust please get in touch.


For further information or advice please call RG Law Wills and Probate Team on 01904 310338


Frequently Asked Questions on Trusts


Can a declaration of trust be changed or revoked after it is created?

Yes, a declaration of trust can be changed or revoked after it is created. This allows the creator to modify the terms or terminate the trust if their circumstances or intentions change over time.


Are there any tax implications associated with a declaration of trust?

There may be tax implications associated with a declaration of trust. It is important to consult with a tax professional to understand the specific tax consequences that may apply in your situation.


Can a declaration of trust be used for any type of asset or property?

A declaration of trust can be used for any type of asset or property. It is a legal document that establishes the ownership and management of the asset or property by a trustee for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries.


What happens if one of the beneficiaries named in the declaration of trust passes away?

If a beneficiary named in a declaration of trust passes away, their share typically goes to their heirs or the remaining beneficiaries. It is important to update the trust document to reflect any changes in beneficiaries.


Is it necessary to involve a lawyer in the creation of a declaration of trust, or can it be done without legal assistance?

It is not necessary to involve a lawyer in creating a declaration of trust. While legal assistance can provide guidance, individuals can draft a declaration of trust themselves as long as they understand the legal requirements and implications.

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