Many Americans who live in the UK know that managing finances in two countries is not always straightforward. From filing taxes on both sides of the Atlantic to estate planning and everything in between – it can be a complex process.
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Trusts are one area of financial planning where our understanding and interpretation are all too often separated by a common language. One person’s idea of a trust and its purpose can differ vastly from another’s.
As one of the older tools of financial planning, trusts were initially established to safeguard a family or individual’s assets. As tax affairs became more complex, especially for wealthy families, trusts were increasingly used to help with tax planning – and in the process often came to be negatively associated with complex tax structuring.
Over a number of years, legislation has clamped down on several loopholes that enabled much of the negative tax structuring. While tax planning still forms a valid part of trust usage, to avoid elements such as double taxation for people spending time in different countries, modern-day trusts are yet again more widely used to preserve families’ assets for the benefit future generations.
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