Do you know what would happen to your home and assets if you passed away?
If you are the sole owner of a property, are there clear instructions for who should inherit your assets, including your house?
If you are married or living with a partner and the answer to the questions is either you’re not sure or no, then it’s time to get sorted! Otherwise you run the risk of your home not being left to the people you want to benefit after your death – and it could end up costing them a lot of money.
There are ways to ensure the right people benefit – and this includes the use of a Family Trust, which can run alongside your Will.
A Family Trust can help you manage your assets, protect your legacy and make sure your loved ones are the ones who benefit.
Consider the case of a man who is the sole owner of a property who dies and leaves everything to his wife in his Will, with the intention that his assets should then pass to his children.
In order to process the Will, if the assets amount to more than £15,000, the family must go through probate which can be a costly process.
If the wife then dies, the children would have to go through the probate process again, costing more money, before they inherit.
If, however, the wife becomes ill and can no longer look after herself, she might end up in care and the house might have to be sold to help pay care fees.
But, if a Family Trust is set up alongside a Will, it can ensure that property, money or other assets can work on behalf of the people you want to see benefit.
It can help in the following cases:
- To minimise estate and Inheritance Tax liabilities.
- To ring fence your property if you or your spouse/partner need residential care in the future.
- To provide a secure way of looking after money for children who are too young to handle a large inheritance.
- To ensure your assets can be used for the benefit of a vulnerable or disabled person who can’t look after themselves.
- To ensure your assets are protected and go to the right people in families which have issues with divorce or remarriages.
Assets, such as property, which are placed in a Trust, are no longer owned by the person who set it up – so they are protected from claims from creditors, family disagreements, financial setbacks and lawsuits.
You appoint a Trustee (or more than one) to manage a Trust, and you need to ensure the wording is precise to ensure the people you love benefit from both the Trust and in the event of your death.