Empower Your Legacy with the Unwavering Strength of Trusts

UniTrust Global
3 min readSep 21, 2023

When considering wealth succession, wills often come to mind for most people, while trusts tend to be overlooked. Wills and trusts represent different approaches to estate planning. A will becomes effective only upon the testator’s death and serves as the foundational tool in estate transfer. Once the allocation of assets is established, the will accomplishes its intended objective. On the other hand, a trust can be established during one’s lifetime or after death. By establishing a trust during their lifetime, the settlor can fully construct the trust according to their objectives.

Trusts are an important tool for wealth succession, offering greater flexibility and continuity compared to wills. They can help facilitate effective wealth succesion and management while protecting the privacy and interests of the family.

Here are some key points on using trusts for wealth succession:

  1. Establishing a trust: The first step in utilizing trusts for wealth succession is to setting up a trust. Typically, a trust is established by a settlor (the asset owner) who appoints a trustee (trust institution) to manage the trust assets and one or more beneficiaries (asset recipients) to benefit from the trust.
  2. Wealth succession goals: The settlor can determine their own wealth succession goals. These may include ensuring a smooth transfer of assets to the next generation, minimizing tax burdens, protecting assets from creditors or litigation risks, and transmitting family values and charitable missions.
  3. Designating beneficiaries: The settlor needs to clearly specify the beneficiaries. In addition to primary beneficiaries, alternative beneficiaries can also be designated. Alternative beneficiaries typically inherit the beneficial rights if the primary beneficiaries are unable to benefit or cease to exist. This helps ensure the ongoing effectiveness of the trust.
  4. Specifying beneficiary shares: You can explicitly define the distribution of benefits among the beneficiaries in the trust document. This can be equal distribution or unequal distribution, depending on your wishes and needs.
  5. Protecting minor beneficiaries: If you designate minors as beneficiaries, you should consider appointing a trustee or guardian to ensure their benefits are properly managed and protected.
  6. Considering conditions and restrictions: If there are specific conditions or restrictions, you can explicitly specify them in the trust document. For example, you can set age restrictions, allowing beneficiaries to receive benefits only when they reach a certain age or achieve specific goals.
  7. Establishing a trust document: The trust document is a formal document that outlines the establishment and management of the trust. It should clearly record the terms of the trust, such as the duration, asset distribution methods, and the disposition of assets in unforeseen circumstances. The trust document can be adjusted within the agreed-upon period of the trust’s duration. It is a legal document that must comply with local laws and regulations.
  8. Trust administration: The trustee is responsible for managing the trust assets and operating in accordance with the provisions of the trust document. They are responsible for maintaining the security of the assets and ensuring the trust’s objectives are achieved.
  9. Regular review and updates: Wealth succession plans should be dynamic and require regular review and updates to ensure they still align with the settlor’s goals and needs.

Furthermore, due to the absence of inheritance tax in Hong Kong, trusts with jurisdiction in Hong Kong offer tax benefits, effectively reducing potential inheritance tax expenses. This provides greater financial flexibility and advantages for both the settlor and the beneficiaries.

Trust arrangements are customized solutions. If you would like to learn more, please contact our team so that we can provide professional advice tailored to your situation.

Explore Hong Kong trust opportunities with UniTrust Global. Visit https://www.unitrustglobal.com for more expert guidance.



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