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Many people seek to order their affairs by making a will. Under this arrangement the executors named in the will apply for a grant of probate, take possession of the assets of the deceased and then distribute those assets according to the terms of the will. Such arrangements are perfectly in order but result in high administration costs (often around 4% of the total value of the estate), long time delays (even a simple estate could take at least one year to be wound up) and, very often, a large tax bill.

The only real alternative to a will is for the individual to set up a trust during their lifetime that, with careful planning, can eradicate delays, administration costs and tax liabilities, as well as offering a large number of additional benefits. For these reasons the use of trusts is increasing dramatically.

The purpose of this section is to provide an explanation of how trusts work, how they can be used to maximum advantage, and to dispel some of the most common misconceptions about them.

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