Over the next week or so we’ll be telling you all about a couple of changes in the weird and wonderful world of trusts as interpretations of recent – and ongoing – case law start coming to light. Information from our legal team is still filtering through, so we’ll be sure to keep you posted as the fine print is digested and can be translated into something that makes sense to everyone.

The first of these changes is the introduction of a new role available for any future trusts that you might be looking to set up. This role is called the ‘controller’, and does exactly as it suggests.

Always nice to have control...
Always nice to be in control...

The idea being, that this third party can veto or approve any changes to the structure that the trustee may wish to make. Such changes could include adding or removing any of the beneficiaries, adjusting the vesting date, or, editing the trust deed. This gives better control over the structure, particularly in the unfortunate circumstances of it being examined in court.

The role is not a mandatory one, but future deeds will at least have the potential to appoint such a person. Advice to date suggests that this controller should ideally be a natural person, and a third party to the existing appointor and trustee. So, appropriate persons could include your solicitor or other professional advisor, or perhaps a trusted friend.

Even if the position will remain vacant to begin with, we do recommend that new trusts should be created with this role available so that it can be filled at a later stage. We have also been advised, though, that older deeds cannot add the position to the existing structure without re-settling the trust.

Of course, as always, just shout if you want more information or guidance on this or any other structural issues. We’ll be happy to help.