Eli5 UK Trust laws


Maybe more of a explain to me like I’m a quite a smart 5 year old:

I was talking to a friend the other day and he brought up how trust laws work in the UK. He claimed that people can put assets in a trust and nobody can know who owns that trust and nobody can look inside the trust. Is this true? How do trust laws work?

In: 6

A trust is when one person (the trustee) owns and controls some property (land, a house, investments, cash, anything) but can only use it for the benefit of one or more other people (the beneficiaries). In its effect, It’s a little like a family foundation (eg stichting) in some parts of Europe.

It’s a relationship or arrangement rather than a “thing” like a company.

Trusts are private but since September 2022 most trusts in the UK have to be registered with our tax authorities, whether they are paying tax or not.

Trusts are really useful and feature in loads of different ways in English law, such as pension funds or if two people co-own a property together. It also allows people to adults to hold and invest assets for children or younger adults who might spend it on Ferraris instead of sensible things.