Trust Management Fees

On appointment / settlement
We will charge a fee when we are appointed as trust administrators.1 If further assets are settled on a trust we administer, we will charge an additional fee. These fees will be calculated on the market value of the settlement, according to the following scale:

Value Fee
Value up to £250,000 1.50% + VAT
On the next £250,000 1.25% + VAT
On the next £500,000 1.00% + VAT
Thereafter 0.75% + VAT

The minimum initial fee will be £650 + VAT.

Annual Fees
For the provision of trust administration services, we charge annual fees on one or a combination of the following bases:

1. According to value
Charging according to value is most appropriate where the trust holds marketable assets such as an investment portfolio and cash. Fees will be charged on the market value, annually in arrears, according to the following scale.

Value Fee
Value up to £250,000 1.50% pa + VAT
On the next £250,000 1.25% pa + VAT
On the next £500,000 1.00% pa + VAT
Thereafter 0.75% pa + VAT

2. Fixed Fee
Charging on a fixed fee basis may be more appropriate for low value trusts where the administration required is relatively straightforward and the volume and nature of the work predicatable. The fixed fee will be charged annually in arrears and will be subject to annual review.

When quoting a fixed fee we reserve the right to charge an additional fee on a time spent basis to cover any exceptional work.

3. Time spent
On occassion, we may agree to charge on a time spent basis. This will usually be in cases where we are engaged to administer a trust with a very high value or in cases where the nature of the trust assets means the workload can very considerably from year to year (for example, where residential or commercial property investments are held). Fees will be charged quarterley in arrears.

Our current rate is £190 per hour exc. VAT (subject to annual review).

Minimum Annual Fee
Our minimum annual fee will be £650 + VAT. The annual management fee will cover routine trust administration, including:

  • the preparation of annual trust accounts
  • our attendance at annual meetings of the trustees
  • liasing with financial advisors, stock brokers, accountants etc
  • the preparation of trust minutes and resolutions
  • phone calls and correspondence in relation to the routine administration of the trust
  • storage of trust papers
  • processing payments

Additional Services
Work performed in addition to the routine adminstration services described above will be charged on a time spent basis. See above for our current rates. Such time will be invoiced in arrears either monthly or quarterley depending on the volume of work.

Assets leaving a trust and termination fee
When capital is distributed (e.g. when a liferent comes to an end) additional fees may be charged on a time spent basis.

If a trust is wound up or trust administration transferred elsewhere, pro rata fees will be charged up to the date of closure or the end of our appointment with additional fees charged on a time spent basis for any work undertaken after the end of our appointment.

Tax returns
Where required, we will arrange for a tax return to be submitted to HMRC. The fee for this will depend on the extent of the reportable income and gains but is likely to be between £200 - £350.


1Where we are appointed in relation to a pilot trust (i.e. one that has been set up with a nominal sum) then this fee will only be applied when further assets are settled on the trust.

Heritable Property will be valued by a surveyor every 3 years and a valuation made on the basis that the property was sold with vacant possession on the open market.

Unless otherwise agreed, all fees quoted are exclusive of disbursements, expenses and third party costs such as professional fees, valuation fees and travel costs. These expenses will be charged in addition to the fees quoted above.

Where the trust instrument permits, our fees and expenses will be charged to the capital or income account of the trust. However, where there are insufficient liquid assets in the trust, invoices will be directed to the Trustees.

All fees and certain expenses will be subject to VAT where applicable.

Financial Benefits

There are financial benefits if assets are held in a trust. Where the beneficiary gets means-tested benefits or receives residential or community care services, the trust will usually pay for itself several times over each year.

1. Means-tested benefits
A single person receiving Employment and Support Allowance with the basic disability premium and local housing allowance receives benefits worth £13 665.08 per year. Any funds not held in a trust could result in these benefits being reduced or stopped. There are other benefits that might also stop such as reductions in council tax.

2. Community care
A person receiving 20 hours per week supported living services will be receiving a budget of over £22 000 per year**. Each local authority will have its own charging policy but in most cases any direct inheritance will trigger a reassessment and the person will have to pay towards care.

3. Residential care
The average annual cost of residential care in Scotland is nearly £32 000. The capital limits are more generous, but you may be expected to pay these fees from any money or property not held in trust.

*Figures correct as at November 2020, based on Support Group ESA rate, basic disability premium and local housing allowance for a one bedroomed flat in Greater Glasgow.

** Based on the approved supported living hourly rate for Glasgow City Council of £21.36 per hour.

*** Based on average costs of £614.07 per week published by www.careinfoscotland.scot

Get in Touch

Cairn Trust Management
Regent House,
113 West Regent Street,
Glasgow, G2 2RU.

 0141 221 7948
 info@cairntrusts.co.uk