A trust is a company that acts as an asset manager (fiduciary) for another business. The activity of a trust is characterised by two features:
A trust is an independent decision maker. A trust does not own the assets it manages. In other words, one person gives the property to a second for the benefit of a third. A trust is a legal arrangement whereby the settlor transfers his or her assets (real estate property, dividends, savings or other assets) to another person — the trustee — so that they may be used to benefit the beneficiaries (who can be either a single individual or a group). Trusts are widely used to protect and pass down wealth through the generations.
Although generally guided by the beneficiary, a trust is ultimately an independent decision maker. A trust acts in accordance with the rules and provisions set out in the relevant agreements, and aims to obtain the best results for the beneficiaries. The strategy for achieving those results, however, is determined by the trust itself. The scope of these activities is practically unlimited, ranging from investing to donating to selling an estate.