Imagine the following family situation: Fred and Wilma, a happily married couple, one daughter, Pebbles. They want to make mirror Wills leaving all to their daughter Pebbles when they die. However, I point out to them that, if Fred dies young, Wilma could fall in love with (say) Barney, who has a son Bam Bam. She could change her Will to dilute Pebbles’ share. A similar situation could arise if Wilma died young. What would be the solution? A Protective Property Trust.
Here is how it works
A Protective Property Trust is a Trust that is put into the Wills of a couple so that half of the value of the residential home goes into Trust when the first one of them dies.
The couple sever the tenancy on the family home so that they each own a share as “tenants in common”
When the first of the partners dies, their half share of the property goes into Trust. This absolutely protects half of the value of the property for the Beneficiaries.
When the second partner dies, the Trust ends and the Beneficiaries get their share outright. The other half of the property passes under the Will of the second to die.
Because this is a Will based Trust, there is more work to be done on first death to create the Trust and I can give you more information on the fees involved with this if you wish.
This is a Discretionary Trust which means it gives a lot of responsibility to the Trustee(s) as they get to decide (within certain parameters set out in the trust deed) which of the Beneficiaries receives how much of the income or the assets and when and under what circumstances. In the case of a Protective Property Trust there might be cash in the Trust, so the Trustees can distribute some or all of it to the Beneficiaries as they see fit during the life of the Trust.
When is this Trust useful?
- For couples where one or both have children from previous relationships. Half of the property can be placed into Trust for these children.
- For estate planning purposes, as in our example above with Fred and Wilma. To protect some assets for their own child, Fred and Wilma decide to include Protective Property Trusts in their Wills. Then when the first of them dies, half the value of the cave (sorry house) will go into Trust for Pebbles, protecting it from any future relationships.
- To POTENTIALLY mitigate Care Home fees. It is unlawful to create a Trust to deliberately mitigate care home fees, but this may be a by-product of this Trust. Once one partner has died, the survivor only owns half of the property. Therefore, if the survivor then needs to go into residential care, half of the property would be in Trust – and therefore safe from care home fees. I would not advise you to set up such a Trust without further technical advice on this issue.
If you would like to find out more details about the Protective Property Trust you can download the Protective Property Trust Factsheet.
If you think that a Trust might be the right option for you, why not contact me, Amanda Harris, Your Local Will Writer. You can find out what my clients have said about my work on my website www.alhlegal-willwriters.co.uk/testimonials or get in touch by phone 0115 8780417 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please get in touch if you have any further questions about Trusts.