It is often assumed that you only need specialist legal advice on Trusts in Wills if you are a multi-millionaire. That is incorrect. There are several reasons why you may want to include a trust in your Will.
The Will and estate planning team at Solomons Solicitors can advise you on why a trust in your Will may meet your family circumstances.
Contact our team today to find out how we can help you.
What is a Trust in a Will?
A Trust can be created during your lifetime or be included in your Will. In your Will, you can place your estate or specific assets in Trust and appoint Trustees to manage the Trust on behalf of nominated beneficiaries.
Will solicitors recommend using a Trust when you want flexibility or to protect your family or beneficiaries.
When is a Will trust a good idea?
There are many family scenarios where including a trust in your Will is a good idea. For example:
- You have remarried and whilst you want your new spouse to have the benefit of your estate or the use of your family home during their lifetime you want your estate to go to your children after your spouse passes away. If you leave an outright gift in your Will to your new spouse then the money or assets inherited by them will pass under their Will (or intestacy rules if they do not make a Will).
- Your beneficiaries are at a vulnerable stage in their lives. Your children may be under the age of 18 or suffer from a disability and need the protection of a Trust to provide them with a home and income. Alternatively, you may anticipate that an adult child might be at risk of going through a divorce or be at risk of bankruptcy. In those scenarios, an outright gift to an adult child could be subject to a claim from their estranged spouse or by a trustee in bankruptcy.
- You want flexibility. The ability to provide for the needs of your loved ones at the time of your death may be important to you. For example, if your children from your first marriage are all financially independent you may want to place your estate in Trust so your trustees can exercise discretion and financially provide for your young children from your second marriage. However, if by the date of your death all your children are adults and financially independent the Will Trust could give your trustees the flexibility to divide your estate equally between all your children.
Creating a trust in a Will
Our Will solicitors can advise you on the benefits and drawbacks of creating a lifetime Trust or a Trust in your Will and your options, such as:
- The beneficiaries of the trust. For example, although you may not have grandchildren now you may want to specify future grandchildren as potential trust beneficiaries.
- The Trustees of the Trust. Your Trustees could be family members, close friends, your firm of Will solicitors acting as professional trustees or a combination of these options.
- The tax implications of setting up a trust in your Will. A trust may save your estate from paying as much tax or be a tax-efficient way of distributing monies to your chosen beneficiaries.
Trusting your trustees when you create a trust in your Will
An executor is responsible for administering your Will and a Trustee is responsible for administering the assets placed in Trust in your Will. It is essential to choose your executors and Trustees with care. They can be the same people or you can appoint different people to act as executors and Trustees.
Some Will makers prefer to appoint the law firm that helped them with their estate planning to act as their executors and trustees whilst others prefer to appoint family or a combination of the two.
Trustees must act in accordance with:
- The Trust document – this is the Will if the Will created the Trust.
- The law on Trusts.
- Professional regulations if your Trustee is a solicitor.
You can also and are generally advised to write a letter of wishes to supplement the Trust provisions in your Will. A letter of wishes is a private document offering guidance to your Trustees on how you would like them to exercise their Trustee duties. For example, you may want to say that if your children go to university the Trustees can advance monies to support them through college but they should not advance monies to pay for a gap year. The letter can also set out a long term strategy as to the way you would wish the Trust to operate.
Speak to our Bournemouth-based Will Solicitors today
Solomons Solicitors can help you with all your Will and estate planning needs. Our experts can assist with the creation of lifetime trusts or trusts in Wills or can help you if you are a trustee who needs professional assistance with the administration of a trust.