A Will Trust can have many different forms, such as a Property Protection Trust, a Disabled Beneficiary Trust, a Children's Protective Trust, a Family Trust, or an Asset Preservation Trust. A Will Trust only comes into effect once the testator (the person making a Will) dies, but the wording of the trust is written into the Will.
A Will Trust allows you to nominate beneficiaries (people to receive the assets) and trustees (people to look after the assets for the beneficiaries. A letter of wishes that accompanies the wording of the Will Trust explains to the trustees how you would like them to look after the assets, and how they can be distributed.
One of the key benefits of a Will Trust, is that it can ensure your assets eventually pass to your children, but ensure that your spouse or partner can can continue to benefit from the asset whilst they are alive. This can protect the children's inheritance, and stop it being diminished or lost to care home fees, to the new spouse of the surviving spouse if they remarry, or for many other reasons.
One of the most crucial elements of a Will Trust, is that if there are no Trusts in the Will and where there are mirror wills, on the death of first testator (the person making a Will), the second testator may change their Will, or may have their Will automatically voided if they remarry which might mean your intended beneficiaries do not inherit on the death of the second testator. Once any Will Trust is in place, it will not matter how or why the surviving testator changes their Will - it will not affect the trust.
Here is a short list of some of the main Will Trusts we offer, and how they can help:
Children's' Protective Trusts
If you have young children, grandchildren or even great grandchildren that are under the age of 18 when you die, the child cannot legally inherit until they reach 18, but in the meantime the inheritance can be looked after by the executors (those you appoint to administer the Will) of the Will until the child reaches age 18 or a different age (for example 21 or 25) should you specify this in the Will.
The Childrens' Protective Trust is useful if you would like to specify that the inheritance can be used before 18 or the specified age for specific reasons. For example, to pay for their upkeep, to provide for education costs, university fees, for a deposit for a house, are good examples. It can also specify how the inheritance should be managed.
Without the trust, you lose control of how the inheritance is held and used, and in some cases might not ever reach the child, especially when non professional executors are named in your Will.
Protective Property Trusts
If you own a property you might want a spouse or loved one to continue to live in this after you die, and when they die, you might want the property shared between your children.
In simple terms, the Protective Property Trust will ensure that your share of the property goes into trust for your intended beneficiaries on your death, but will allow someone to live in the property for a set period of time, or until they die. If the survivor owns the house with you, then they can move, downsize or sell up, but your share is protected, and will pass to your beneficiaries. Your share will not be eroded by nursing home fees or other third party claims on the property.
Disabled Beneficiary Trusts
This type of trust is useful if you have a disabled beneficiary, especially a child. If the beneficiary receives state support and inherits, this may remove or reduce the state support provided. If you exclude the beneficiary because of this, the local authority might challenge your Will for their fair share.
The Disabled Beneficiary Trust allows you to hold money for the beneficiary in trust, provide a letter of wishes to state to the trustees how the money can be used. When implemented carefully, it can help ensure the beneficiary gets the benefit you require, without it affecting state aid and can prevent a successful challenge of the Will.
A family trust is a great tool to help you keep your assets in the family after your death. The trust keeps the assets together, and assets will be owned by the trust, which will be looked after by trustees which you appoint. You can provide a letter of wishes determining how the trustees operate the trust.
The trust can protect against inheritance tax for future generations, as it can last for 125 years. It can also stop money leaving the family, through divorce, recklessness, addiction, negligence (should a family member be sued), and can stop a beneficiary causing themselves harm if they have an addiction to harmful substances.
Beneficiaries and Trustees can be a surviving spouse, children, great children and anyone else. Even if they are not born yet! It is an excellent tool to keep any wealth in the family, and is extremely cost effective.
Asset Preservation Trusts
An Asset Preservation Trust combines the benefits of a Protective Property Trust and a Family Trust, but also provides additional benefits for a surviving spouse.
Trusts have many more benefits than mentioned above, however rather than give you pages of information which might only be partly relevant, we would rather understand your circumstances and only give you the information that is relevant to you. This makes the whole process easier, and helps you make important decisions.
You should also consider lifetime trusts come into force before a testator dies. These can provide more benefits than a Will Trust, but are only suitable in certain circumstances. I am able to provide you with advice on whether a Will Trust or Lifetime Trust is more suitable based on your current situation.
You can continue to find out more information by browsing our website, or if you are ready to get the ball rolling you can get in contact with me.
I can offer you a free consultation which I can do in the comfort of your own home, or via the telephone, or you can visit us in Louth.
You have nothing to lose apart from a couple of hours of your time to see whether we are the right company and I am the right person to help you make your Will. Why not get in contact and arrange an appointment, or complete our online client questionnaire? I will be able to assess your circumstances, and explain what Goodwills can do to help.
I look forward to being able to help you get these matters resolved in a simple and straightforward manner.
Call me on 01507 707123, email email@example.com or complete our online client questionnaire to get started.