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Wills, Probate & Estate Planning

Trusts Solicitors

When it comes to making plans for your future, it is important that you know all of the options available to you.  While it is common knowledge that having a Will is crucial, Trusts are not as well recognised for their benefits that they can bring when estate planning.

Our specialist Trusts Solicitors have extensive knowledge and experience in advising on Trust matters, whether it is for significant long-established charitable Trusts, family Trusts or smaller, more recent Trusts for specific purposes.

With experts qualified in both legal and tax matters, and several lawyers who are part of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), we are able to offer a full service when providing Trusts advice relating to your proposed or existing Trust.

Legal advice when setting up a Trust

Understanding the role a Trust plays in your estate planning can help when deciding if this is the right option for you.  While a Will is about the distribution of assets after your death, a Trust is about the control of your assets and money either during your lifetime or after your death.  A Trust can be created as part of your Will; in this situation, it will only become operative at the time the administration of the estate is complete.

By setting up a Trust you are setting aside specific money or assets to benefit certain people in your life.  You will decide who the Trustees are, i.e. the people who will control the assets within the Trust, and the beneficiaries, i.e. the people who will benefit from the Trust. 

What can be placed in a Trust?

Any asset can be placed into a Trust including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Land or property
  • Finances, such as money, stocks, shares, investments
  • Personal items, including family heirlooms
  • Insurance, for example, your life insurance policy could be included in your Trust

Due to the nature of the assets that can be included, it is possible that they will generate income while in the Trust, for example a rental property.  You can decide whether this income would become part of the payment to beneficiaries or whether it remains in the Trust for future use. 

Types of Trust

There are several Trusts available to you; the right option will be determined by the reason you wish to create the Trust, for example whether it is to protect assets, give money to charity or to safeguard against care home fees, as well as your own personal situation.

Life Interest Trust

This type of Trust is usually created over your share of the home or residuary estate and is therefore most often used with married couples, cohabiting couples or couples with children from previous marriages.  On the death of the first spouse the assets would pass into the Trust, meaning that the survivor has a right to continue living in the property until they either pass away, sell the property or need to move into care.

Not only does a Life Interest Trust secure your property for your spouse providing them with their home following your passing, but this will also ensure other assets can be secure for any other beneficiaries, such as your children. 

Discretionary Trust

A Discretionary Trust can be used to leave part or all of your estate to a Trust that is created in your Will.  The Trustees will have complete control over the Trust, with the discretion to decide how and when to distribute the Trust's income and capital among the beneficiaries.

These Trusts are usually used to ensure that young children or beneficiaries unable to manage their finances are provided with funds. Creditors cannot access the fund, which makes them a useful option when providing for anyone who is in debt or who may be bankrupt.

Vulnerable Persons Trust

A Vulnerable Persons Trust is another form of Discretionary Trust, which names the disabled person as the principal beneficiary.  Under this type of Trust, the disabled person will be recognised as such if they receive certain benefits, and the Trust does not impact them receiving those benefits.

As with all areas of estate planning, it is imperative that you seek legal advice before setting up a Trust as the benefits and potential consequences will be vastly different for each person depending on your family situation, relationships and your estate. 

Legal advice for beneficiaries of Trusts

Beneficiaries are the people who will benefit from the proceeds of the Trust, and it is essential for you to be well-informed about your rights and responsibilities if you have been named as a beneficiary.  Similarly, you should consider all of your options when choosing beneficiaries for a Trust you are setting up.  

A beneficiary in a Trust can range from a specific person, a group of people, a charity or even an organisation.

Our Trusts Solicitors provide clear and concise information to beneficiaries, guiding you on understanding the documents involved, your entitlements, and avenues for addressing any concerns or disputes that may arise. 

Trustee responsibilities and obligations

Trustees play a pivotal role in the administration and management of Trusts, bearing a fiduciary duty that demands the highest standards of integrity, prudence, and loyalty. We understand the critical importance of guiding Trustees through their responsibilities to ensure the effective and lawful execution of their duties.

Trustees are accountable for safeguarding and managing the assets within the Trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. This involves many duties including, but not limited to:

  • Maintaining accurate records
  • Investing prudently
  • Distributing assets in accordance with the terms of the Trust.

We are committed to providing comprehensive guidance on Trustee obligations, covering legal compliance, communication with beneficiaries, and addressing potential conflicts of interest. Whether you are a Trustee seeking clarity on your responsibilities or you require advice on who to appoint as Trustees, our lawyers are here to offer their advice for the smooth administration of your Trust.

Contact our Trusts Solicitors

We recognise that each Trust is unique, and we approach every client on a bespoke basis. Whether you are looking to establish a Trust, manage an existing one, or seek advice on beneficiaries, our Trusts Solicitors are here to provide solutions that align with your family needs.  To discuss your plans for the future with one of our Trusts Solicitors in AndoverRomseySalisburyTotton and Witney, contact us using the Contact Form, email or call your local office: