Is Italy really in crisis? »
The word ‘crisis’ is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “a time of intense difficulty or danger”. This implies that it is extreme circumstances that usually cause a crisis. So how do the recent Italian political worries stack up on this definition? On the surface, there isn’t much to worry about. There’s nothing extreme about a political stalemate in a country which has had nearly 70 different governments since the war. There’s also nothing extreme about voting into government a political party set-up by a comedian in a country that gave Silvio Berlusconi four shots at running the government. However, when politics, extreme or not, could impact the economic situation, investors tend to take note.
Bringing a trust to an end »
A recent question asked by an adviser has raised an issue which, while seemingly straightforward, may not always be so.
Some time ago Mrs C created a “Bypass trust” as a potential recipient of the death benefits under her pension scheme. Like most such trusts, the trust was created with only £10. Under this particular trust the settlor named a protector, i.e. the person who would exercise certain rights after the death of the settlor. Obviously, nothing much was going to happen with this trust until the settlor died and the death benefits became payable. The settlor named her husband as the protector (again, the usual choice for married individuals). Unfortunately, the couple are now in the process of divorcing and it has come to light that the trust did not include any provisions for the removal or change of the protector. It was therefore decided to terminate the trust. So, how could this be done?