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Trusts glossary of terms

This glossary sets out a number of standardised terms related to Trusts, and their meaning, used by us and other banks. These terms will assist you in understanding what is asked of you when filling out an application form to open a Trust bank account with Cater Allen.

Absolutely entitled

Means that the person can require that assets are immediately transferred to them and the Trustees have no ability to prevent this. It also covers Trusts where an individual is mentally incapacitated or a minor and would, apart from that, be able to demand funds from the Trustees. These arrangements are usually described as bare Trusts or nomineeships.

Authorised Signer

A person who is authorised to transact on an account. There may be more than one authorised signatory on an account, and if the account is set as more than one-to-sign, for example, two-to-sign, more than one authorised signatory must authorise a transaction on the account each time. We would expect the Trustees to be the authorised signers.


A person who does, or potentially may, benefit from a Trust.

Beneficial Owner

A person who is absolutely entitled to all or part of a Trust fund.

Certified copy

A copy of the original document that has been signed and verified by a person on our approved list, which can be found on the Customer Identification Requirements (pdf) document.

Companies House

Companies House is the United Kingdom's registrar of companies and is an executive agency and trading fund of the UK government.

Corporate Trustee

A Corporate Trustee is a company that acts as Trustee of a Trust.

Death certificate

The legal document issued by the registry office after a death has been registered.


An individual or Trust corporation appointed by the Court of Protection on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity.

Discretionary Trust

A Trust where no beneficiary has an automatic right to income or capital. Instead, the Trustees choose which beneficiaries benefit, when and to what extent. The Trustees are often guided in how to make these decisions by a letter of wishes prepared by the settlor.


All assets belonging to the deceased immediately before their death.


A person appointed by a will to administer a deceased person's estate.

Fixed Interest Trust

A Trust where the Trustee does not have any discretionary powers over the distribution of Trust assets to beneficiaries, and the Trust deed specifies exactly how and when assets are to be made available to the beneficiaries.

Grant of Probate

A document giving the authority to administer an estate in accordance with the will.

Inheritance tax

A tax paid to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on the estate of the deceased.

Life Interest Trust

A Trust where a beneficiary has an immediate right to receive Trust income (whilst capital is usually distributed on a discretionary basis).

Power of Attorney

The authority to act for another person in specified or all personal or financial matters.


The legal process through which a deceased's the estate is administered.


A person who creates a Trust by giving money or other property to the Trustees (who can include the settlor).

Tax Identification Number (TIN)

A Tax Identification Number is a government provided number which can be used to identify an individual with certainty for tax compliance purposes. For most individuals in the UK this can be either of their National Insurance Number or HMRC Unique Taxpayer Reference.


The Trustees are the legal owners of the assets held in a Trust. Their role is to deal with the assets according to the settlor's wishes, as set out in the Trust deed or their will.

Vested beneficiary

Vested means that the interest either already is or will eventually come into the hands of the beneficiary.


The official document detailing the wishes of a person upon their death.