The recent succession of the Duke of Westminster highlights the legitimate and efficient use of Trusts

The subject of Trusts and their legitimate use in estate and wealth planning has been on the agenda of the specialist and general media this August following the sad passing of the 6th Duke of Westminster, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor.  The family wealth has now passed to the control of Hugh Grosvenor who has become the 7th Duke of Westminster at the age of 25, and now heads the Grosvenor Estate Trust.

The Grosvenor Estate Trust: made in Chelsea?

The Grosvenor Estate Trust encompasses large land holdings in Mayfair and Belgravia, as well as business holdings across the U.K. and the rest of the world.  As such, the family fortune is estimated at around £9 billion, with Forbes magazine placing the young Duke as the third wealthiest man in the United Kingdom.  It all dates back to 1677 when Mary Davis married Sir Thomas Grosvenor, the then Duke of Westminster. Mary had inherited 50 acres of marsh and farmland, then in rural Middlesex.  London was moving west, and Sir Thomas, who understood the value of control over ownership, created the Grosvenor Estate Trust to protect this valuable asset.  The Trust now employs over 1,400 people and has £21.5 billion of assets under management.

The new left same as the old – militant, flawed and wrong.

Elements of the populist media and the new (old) left have pointed to this non-event as clear evidence that “tax avoidance” is rife among something known as “the establishment”.  We’d rather assumed that with the Olympics to write about they wouldn’t have to resort to this sort of idle and ill-informed comment to fill their pages and the media schedule of Corbyn’s failing Labour Party.  But, yet again, we witness the rather tedious tendency of the left to blur the legitimate use of Trusts and the myriad and “tax avoidance” schemes to suit their flawed narrative.