Do the best for your family: don’t leave your children a penny,but protect the
family inheritance for your children and generations to come by leaving everything
to a Family Trust.
Will Trusts & Lifetime Trusts
For many people just the idea of a ‘trust’ sounds far too complicated - but we can
keep it simple where possible.
Putting something ‘in trust’ just means gifting it with conditions, letting you keep
some control even after you have passed away. The condition could be as simple as
‘...for such of my children as attain 25...’ Many simple Wills include wording like
that, to protect youngsters from coming into a lot of money before they are mature
enough to handle it properly.
Another relatively common type of trust is a Property Trust. Typically this gives
your surviving spouse/partner the right to live in your share of the house, whilst
ensuring that eventually it will be passed to the family. Thus, if your surviving
spouse re-marries your share of the house cannot be given away to the new step family
and it also prevents it being swallowed up by the likes of Long Term Care fees.
In other cases a trust might be to look after the inheritance for a Disabled Beneficiary,
or for a family member who would be unlikely ever to be unable to handle finances
Trusts can also help to protect family inheritance against debt, divorce, undue influence
and much, much more. Those with a family business can also benefit from a trust,
with the potential to minimise inheritance tax.
The trust is managed by trustees - normally the executors that you have appointed
in the Will. They are under various legal obligations to behave responsibly and can
only work within the conditions that you put in the Will. Nevertheless, you should
always choose only people on whom you can rely totally.
Most trusts are either Discretionary Trusts or Life Interest Trusts, but there are
so many possibilities with the details that it is no wonder that you might not know
what is best for you and your situation. Also there can be trusts set up in your
lifetime, such as a Lifetime Family Trust, which have the potential to protect your
assets from the delays and costs of probate, debts, divorces within the family etc.
That is why clients need a personal appointment with an experienced Will writing
consultant - the client can focus on the family issues that need to be addressed,
whilst the consultant can suggest the most appropriate trust(s) to handle it.