Private client

Russell-Cooke Trust Company (RCTC)

Russell-Cooke trust company

What is the Russell-Cooke Trust Company?

Russell-Cooke Trust Company (RCTC) is an independent UK incorporated company, registered at Companies House. The directors of RCTC include partners in Russell-Cooke LLP the law firm as well as external consultants (typically retired partners of the LLP). RCTC itself does not carry out any other business activities and exists solely to be appointed as a professional trustee or executor.

RCTC may choose to instruct Russell-Cooke LLP to carry out legal and compliance work in relation to an estate or a trust in which it is appointed. Equally it may be appropriate to instruct another professional.

Why use a trust company?

Appointing an independent trust company to be your executor or trustee can relieve family members from the burden and stress of administration. 

A trust company stands outside of and is neutral to family issues and dynamics and can therefore be 100% objective when making decisions that affect the estate or trust and so family members do not find themselves in the position of having to make decisions which may make them uncomfortable, perhaps because of a conflict of interest or when they are affected by emotional issues.

While it is of course possible to appoint an individual to be an executor or trustee, appointing a trust corporation provides continuity in that there will always be someone available to act. Progress is therefore not dependent on the availability of one named individual.

Appointing an independent executor or trustee can be a powerful tool to ensure as much as possible that wishes are respected.

Why Russell-Cooke Trust Company?

RCTC has significant experience of administering trusts and estates and is often appointed to step in and protect the estate or trust where litigation is ongoing or foreseen and the assets need protecting.  

We are alive to the challenges thrown up by conflict between parties and well placed to provide objectivity where difficult decisions arise.

RCTC aims to provide a consultative approach from the outset. To quickly establish family dynamics and to move the administration on as quickly and cost efficiently as possible.

We are particularly fortunate to be able to rely on Russell-Cooke LLP’s broad range of legal services to support the administration. No one trust or estate is the same but the following services are available:

Our trust company experience

Recent notable work as independent administrators:

  • Acting as independent administrator of an estate straddling England and Cyprus. Issues include the (disputed) domicile and residence of the deceased, the validity of a will and lifetime gifts and a failed inheritance tax savings scheme. It was also necessary to consider the interplay of Cypriot forced heirship and English law and the impact on succession. Applications for the blessing of various (contested) steps have been necessary.
  • Acting as independent administrator of an estate appointed in a will, in circumstances where it transpired that a mutual will scenario arose such that it was conceivable that RCTC held the estate assets on trust according to the terms of the mutual will agreement as opposed to the terms of the later will. The terms of the mutual will agreement were themselves unclear as it could not be known exactly what was intended to be caught by the agreement. The matter settled between the beneficiaries and RCTC administers according to the agreement.
  • Acting as independent administrator in circumstances where there is a dispute between the children of the deceased and their spouse as to shares in a farming partnership and an account for income from that business.
  • Acting as independent administrator in an estate following criminal proceedings and a settlement of a claim under the Forfeiture Act 1982, drawing on experience in previous claims under the Forfeiture Act, where managing the relationship between the beneficiaries is central to ensuring the estate can be administered in an effective manner.
  • Acting as independent administrator appointed by consent by existing executors and beneficiaries. Siblings disagreed about the extent of lifetime gifts and the requirement to account for funds paid from the deceased’s estate. RCTC was appointed administrator to progress the administration, pay the IHT and ultimately distribute the estate pending agreement between the parties.
  • Acting as independent administrator where one executor refused to progress the administration. The court ordered the appointment of RCTC to administer the estate.
  • Advising a very successful real estate entrepreneur in relation to succession planning, with an eye on minimising the risk of future litigation. Our client owns a number of corporate structures which are complex – these are both onshore and offshore - and wanted to ensure that no conflicts would arise in relation to the sale of the business and to maintain independence from minority shareholders. RCTC provided the client with the confidence of impartiality coupled with our wide ranging expertise to help with the sale of the business and ultimately managing the trust and sale proceeds.
  • Working alongside our charity and social business team to set up a bespoke charitable trust for long-standing clients to help the clients’ transition wealth to their children, alongside a number of philanthropic interests.
  • Acting as co-trustee alongside lay trustees, to provide objectivity as trustee in circumstances where the cotrustees are divorced parents. RCTC’s appointment was welcomed by the parents as providing continuity. Our expertise in mediation and experience of dealing with investment advisers and decision making within trusts has so far been central to the management of the trust.

Get in touch

If you would like to speak with a member of the team you can contact our solicitors by email or telephone on +44 (0)20 8394 7475.

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