Private client

Trusts and estate planning

Protecting your wealth and ensuring your family's financial security for generations to come

Trusts and estate planning

How we can help

We can advise you how to structure your property and affairs to ensure that your estate passes to your intended beneficiaries in the most tax-efficient way after your death.

Our private client team can advise on all aspects of estate planning including:

  • wills for clients with complex and/or high-net-worth estates
  • the incorporation of trusts within wills and the constitution of those trusts after the death of the client
  • the creation of lifetime trusts
  • post-death estate planning, including deeds of variation and the restructuring of will trusts with retrospective effect for inheritance tax purposes
  • the tax consequences of estate planning and trusts
  • the probate and estate administration, including preparing tax returns, liaising with financial advisers, making distributions, collecting rents and other sources of income and handling the legal and
  • administrative issues that arise from properties held in trusts
  • cross-border succession capacity and tax
  • issues raised by pre-existing trusts
    advising entrepreneurs and family businesses on tax and succession planning

Trust management and tax compliance

Our trust and tax administration team assists in a variety of areas. At its core, it manages a large number of family trusts, dealing with their day-to-day management and other issues. The team also assists with estate accounts for the wide variety of estates that the Private Client team administers. Increasingly, the team also assists individuals with preparing their personal tax returns.

The main areas of work include:

  • Producing annual trust accounts and estate accounts
  • Completing and lodging annual trust, estate, and personal Tax
  • Returns, including payments on account of tax
  • Assisting with complex Capital Gains Tax calculations for complex assets, often including residential property or for non-resident individuals requiring 30 day reporting
  • Dealing with inheritance tax events such as appointments of capital
  • Day to day bookkeeping such as recording entries of income and capital events.
  • Liaising with other professional advisors on behalf of trustees or beneficiaries regarding trust assets (e.g. property managers, investment advisors)
  • Liaising with beneficiaries on behalf of trustees or executors on matters such as income or capital distributions, providing certificates of deduction of tax and income schedules
  • Advising the trustees on the rapidly changing legislation governing trusts such as the Annual Finance acts
  • Advising on the reporting requirements for trusts including the
  • Trust Registration Service, Common Reporting Standard, and FATCA

In addition to our trust management role, the Russell-Cooke Trust Company acts as a professional trustee for many trusts

Members of our trust and tax administration team come from an accountancy background and work closely with lawyers in the Private Client teams. We have the expertise, specialism and flexibility to offer a bespoke service based on individual client’s needs.

Many of our trust managers and lawyers are members of professional organisations such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the Association of Tax Technicians (ATT), and The Association of Lifetime Lawyers.

Our team

Our friendly, approachable team is very experienced and highly-regarded in its field, with members regularly contributing to major text books in the area such as Butterworths' Wills, Probate and Administration Service. Our advice is tailored to your specific needs. We aim to provide solutions which are both workable and cost-effective. We work closely with colleagues in the firm with relevant expertise, such as those in our experienced property and family law departments. Our trust corporation, the Russell-Cooke trust company, is available to act as executor or trustee. 

The team are highly ranked in The Legal 500 (2023) where a commenter notes the team's capacity to deal with large and "complex estates" and praised their "grasp of issues that only comes with experience."

Charging information

Charges are usually based on our hourly rates plus administrative charges and disbursements. We will provide you with an initial estimate of your likely legal costs and will update this as your requirements or the circumstances of the work change.

We would be pleased to discuss your requirements and produce a costs estimate accordingly based on the type and complexity of the work involved.

Get in touch

If you would like to speak with a member of the team you can contact our private client solicitors; Holborn office +44 (0)20 3826 7522; Kingston office +44 (0)20 3826 7529 or Putney office +44 (0)20 3826 7515 or complete our form.

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