Complex decisions regarding family finances can be contentious area of law. The administration of trusts is unfortunately no exception to this. And where the matter involves a mental health or capacity issue, it has the potential to be even more complicated.

What is a trust?

A trust is a legal tool by which money, and other assets, can be held. Sometimes a trust can be the best way to manage finances. It's especially useful as a way of safeguarding money for children or relatives; the beneficiaries.

Trusts are often set up in situations where it is known that a person is going to lose the mental capacity to make decisions, perhaps due to illness, because it is often the best way to protect property and finances.

Why can trusts be so contentious?

Consider some of the elements that go into the creation of a trust:

  • deciding what will be put into trust
  • the making of financial decisions
  • deciding where, when and how the contents of the trust will be released
  • appointing trustees

These are decisions which can have wide-ranging effects on close family members and something about which people are likely to have opinions. This is why securing legal advice at an early stage is highly advisable.

Oratto member solicitors will able to quickly assess your situation and handle any administration of trusts which becomes necessary both swiftly and sensitively.

Losing mental capacity is likely to be traumatic and it can also be an extremely difficult time for your family. So, you are likely to want to make sure that financial and property affairs are being dealt with competently. Oratto member lawyers are committed to protecting the more vulnerable members of society; ensuring that their wishes are carried out as far as possible.

If mental capacity has been lost, who will administer the trusts?

When a trust is created, it must have trustees to administer it. These need to be decided and appointed before mental capacity is lost. However, if power of attorney has been given to someone, then they may also have the right to deal with any administration of trusts. There are different ways to delegate power over personal welfare and financial concerns.

Administration of trusts carries a great deal of responsibility. The trustees have a duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries at all times and they can be personally liable if they do not. Knowledge and experience is essential in the proper administration of trusts and Oratto has a number of member lawyers who have both.

Oratto – supplying the lawyers who you can trust with your trusts