Trusts are one way of protecting assets and holding them safely for future generations to benefit from financially, or via property.
Couples such as spouses or civil partners may consider a trust to protect the family home, or to pass money to children.
Common types of will trusts include trust funds set up for the purpose of funding education for children or future generations, trusts to preserve property or land for future generations – and, commonly, a will trust in which a couple will act as joint tenants or tenants in common regarding the family home.
With joint tenants, the family home would automatically pass to the surviving partner – but with tenants in common, each partner might elect to leave their share to another family member, while the surviving partner retains their share and remains living in the property if they wish. Usually couples have a 50% share each in the family home or property – but property and land can be shared by more than two tenants in common, with the proportions established in an agreement.
Trusts involving tenants in common can be tax efficient and also ring fence the property against assessment by the Department for Work and Pensions and/or care homes if one partner claims benefits or needs social care.
Assets held in a trust are not assessed for probate because they are managed by the trustees – this means certain assets can pass directly to a beneficiary without being included for the purposes of probate.
The law around trusts and the tax position for different types of will trusts can be complex – and it is vital to take expert legal advice to make sure the trust is set up correctly.
Trustees can be appointed from family members and/or the executors of the will – and it is advisable to appoint a professional trustee such as a solicitor, who can advise on the administration of the trust, tax liabilities and any amendments to inheritance law.
Trusts can be subject to a range of different taxes – including:
Tax law is complex and it is necessary to be clear about the implications of setting up a will trust – for example, Inheritance Tax may apply if part of an estate is transferred into a trust before death.
Duncan Lewis wills and probate solicitors can advise on the setting up of a trust and make sure that the tax position is fully explained, advising on the most tax efficient course of action, as well as helping with the appointment of trustees and the administration of the trust as a professional trustee.
Our specialist wills and probate solicitors have considerable expertise in advising on wills and financial planning – including advising on international wills, care of elderly or vulnerable family members, guardianship, trusts and high-value estates, trusts for land or agricultural land, and providing for children or future generations in a trust.
Duncan Lewis wills and probate solicitors offer clear and focused advice on will trusts and how these may benefit a family or future generations.
There are Duncan Lewis offices nationwide – and Duncan Lewis offers competitively-priced fixed fees for wills and probate matters, whenever possible.
Duncan Lewis can also advise in contentious probate matters, including disputes involving a will trust and offers hourly rates for this service.
For expert legal advice on Wills and Probate and Trusts, call Duncan Lewis Wills and Probate Solicitors on 0333 772 0409.