When a will is not enough to protect your family
There’s a very natural desire to want to treat all our children the same. Differences made in wills, even for the best of intentions, can make even adult children feel that there was a difference in the love left behind.
But what if one of your children has very different needs, or problems, to the others? How can you plan fairly for their future and make sure they are provided for, without necessarily treating them exactly the same?
Here are five instances when forming a trust could be a valuable part of your will or estate plan:
If your child lives with a disability, there are two main considerations that might make putting your child’s inheritance in trust a good option.
- A lump sum inheritance could adversely affect their entitlement to essential means tested benefits; but a properly planned trust could ensure that they get the support you hope for, without losing essential income.
- If your child lives with a mental disability that affects their ability to plan and to make good financial decisions, you may wish to place a trustee in charge of their affairs.
2. Mental illness
If your child is severely mentally ill, how might they react to the sudden arrival of a substantial bequest? You may worry that they will not spend it wisely; you may wish for it to be spent on care and support for your child; or you may be concerned that the stress of receiving and managing a large lump sum might be too much for them to cope with.
With a trustee(s) in place to manage their affairs for them, this may help to protect your child from unnecessary anxiety.
If your child has an addiction to substances or gambling, you might be concerned that all their inheritance will disappear quickly, leaving them without the safety net for them and their family that you hope the inheritance can provide.
4. Existing debt
Might you leave a lump sum to your child, only for it to be swallowed up immediately by creditors? You might prefer the bequest to be protected for your child’s family and dependants, rather than go to your child directly.
Or is the repayment of debt, and freedom from CCJs or bankruptcy exactly the legacy you wish to leave your child? You may feel that you are best placed to plan for your child’s freedom from debt worries, via a trust.
5. Protection from Inheritance Tax
It’s possible to plan not only for the Inheritance Tax bill that you pass to your own beneficiaries, but the liability that they pass to their beneficiaries (for example, your grandchildren) too.
By bequeathing a trust that provides income to your children during their lifetime, but passes the capital on to the next generation, you may help to protect your grandchildren from inheriting a massive tax exposure.
To find out more about Trusts and how they can protect your family, read our online guide: ‘What is a Trust and how will it protect your loved ones?’
If you’d like to book a free consultation with one of our legal experts, book online or call 01342 477 102 and quote ‘Will Trusts Blog’.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.