Unfortunately, Mr Benjamin had a long breakdown in his relationship with one of his children. His oldest son had fallen into drugs many years ago and he has not seen him for many years. He wanted advice on the best way to cut his son out of his estate, and to make sure that it went to his two daughters and grandchildren, without his son causing problems for the family by challenging the will.
Richardson Tribe advised Mr Benjamin to set up a Family Trust. The trust would hold his estate for him and once the Trust is six years old unlike a Will it cannot be challenged by his son after his death.
Family Trusts are used for many reasons:
Our Family Trust is specifically designed to protect your assets, such as your home, during your lifetime so those assets pass fully intact to your intended beneficiaries after your death. There are many benefits associated with the trust which means your assets are protected from creditors, you avoid probate fees (depending on the circumstances) and you also avoid sideways disinheritance.
The benefits of the Family Trust are highlighted above. The Family Trust is a trust set up during your lifetime to hold assets on your behalf. ‘A trust’ is a relationship which is recognised and enforceable in the Courts. The details of which are contained in a ‘trust deed’. It is a flexible life interest trust and has the benefit of giving you a guaranteed right to benefit from the assets within it. This includes the absolute right of occupation during your lifetime, or if you choose to sell the property, the right to benefit from the proceeds of sale. After your death the assets held within your trust are held on trust for your chosen beneficiaries.
The precise percentages and conditions under which individual beneficiaries will benefit will be set out in a letter of wishes, addressed to your trustees. The assets do not pass under your Will and do not require a Grant of Probate in order to be distributed.
In order for an asset to be protected by the trust it must be registered in the name of the Trust. This is a legal requirement. The trust will normally be named after the person creating it (the Settlor). So, if John Smith set up a Trust it would normally be called ‘The John Smith Family Trust’. The Trust is designed to give you (the Settlor) absolute security during your lifetime while providing you the flexibility you require.
There are numerous benefits to the way in which this trust is structured and people set them up for many different reasons. Key features of the trust are:-
– You have a guaranteed right of occupation and income during your lifetime
– You are free to move or downsize
– You are free to replace your Trustees at any time while you are fit and well
– You are able to hold both real property (land, Inc. houses) and savings within the trust
Important – The overall effect of placing assets into trust is to maximise the above benefits by separating the legal and beneficial title. It works on the following basis: – If you, as the Settlor (i.e. the person entitled to benefit from the capital) should face any unforeseen difficulties, you are not regarded as the legal owner of the trust assets (the trustees are) and as such the capital value of those assets cannot normally be taken into account and are therefore protected for the beneficiaries of the trust.
It is often the case that people have in their mind thoughts of minimising the impact of care home fees and as you will be aware, one of the benefits of the Family Trust is that the assets within the trust can be disregarded from care fees assessments, provided it is set up at the right time and in the right circumstances.
When it comes to protecting your most valuable assets including your home and you have considered how you want those assets to be distributed once you have passed on it would be our advice that to achieve all the benefits outlined in this letter you proceed in setting up a Family Trust.
The Family Trust is one of the most flexible, useful and protective Estate Planning tools available. It is the ideal way to ensure that what you have worked hard to acquire is removed from being vulnerable to predators during your lifetime whilst also providing the maximum benefit and security to those you love after you have gone.
Our Family Trust is specifically designed to make sure that your home and other assets are safe from a variety of “unintended beneficiaries” and ensure that those you wish to benefit do so. Unlike other trusts you will benefit from your assets throughout your lifetime as and when you wish.