Wealth Preservation Family Trusts are known by many names including a Wealth Preservation Trust, Asset Protection Trust, Protective Trust, Family Trust, Life Interest Trust, Lifetime Discretionary Trust, Probate Protective Trust and Vulnerable Persons Trust.
This type of Trust is based on the same law which has been in force for over 150 years.
Trusts were first used during the Crusades by landowners to ensure that whilst they were away crusading their estates were protected. Trusts have been widely used by the rich and the famous to protect their wealth since Victorian times.
Prince Harry’s inheritance from his mother Princess Diana was placed in a Trust.
It has now been reported that this Trust allowed him to receive an appropriate level of income and lump sums of capital at any time. However, the Prince was able to request the full balance of the Trust on his 30th birthday.
During the last 25 years Trusts have become an increasingly popular way of protecting wealth, with many shopping centres, schools and hospitals becoming Trusts and even your pension is or was a Trust.
If you wish to ensure your loved ones benefit from the assets you have built up over your lifetime, you should seriously consider taking advantage of the substantial benefits offered by this type of Trust.
If you are forced to go in to a Care Home or receive care at home if you have substantial savings or own your own home, your local authority can charge you for the care you receive. Care Homes normally cost around £800 per week (£41,600 a year). Your Local Authority can totally legally require the Executors of your estate to repay the full cost of your care from the proceeds of the sale of your home.
Assets held in this type of Trust are normally disregarded for care purposes. Therefore your savings and the equity within your home can not be taken by the Local Authority to pay for Care Home or at home care fees. This means the full value of your estate can be passed on to your loved ones.
If your assets are held in this type of Trust and are disregarded for Care Home purposes, this will provide you or your partner with substantially more choice. You or your partner may not wish to stay in a basic Local Authority run Care Home, but prefer to choose a luxury private Care Home of your choice. You can use the Local Authority money you are entitled to receive to substantially subsidise the cost of staying in a luxury private Care Home. In the circumstances you would only need to pay a small amount of money to top up the Local Authority money you receive.
The assets you decide to place in your Trust are specifically held for your benefit during your lifetime. This means that you are free to move, downsize or release capital at any time. You are able to sell up and move in the future if this becomes necessary and you are able to make use of the funds held within the Trust to provide for your loved ones whilst you are alive or to spend enjoying your retirement. These Trusts are fully reversible, so if you change your mind at any time in the future, you are able to return everything to just the way it is now. Clients with large estates or complex wishes use two or more of this type of Trust to fulfill their requirements. This type of Trust is far more flexible than its far simpler inferior brother the “Will Trust” which do not offer this level of flexibility.
By protecting your estate with this type of Trust, your family will be able to avoid having to pay expensive probate fees of up to 7% of your entire Estate upon your death. This can save many thousands of pounds in legal fees. In addition the delays often associated with the administration process known as Probate, that can sometimes take years to complete are completely avoided. Instead the assets contained within your Estate can be paid out to your beneficiaries in a matter of days.
This type of Trust creates an extremely robust legal barrier to protect your estate against financial challenges from disgruntled family members, former partners, children of former partners, step children and other people who they feel they are owed something from a deceased persons estate. If you have chosen to exclude one or more persons from your estate but you become incapacitated or die they could make a financial claim against your estate. This type of Trust can prevent the substantial costs and delays associated with such Court cases. It is significantly easier to mount a legal challenge against the wishes expressed in a Will than it is to challenge this type of Trust. No Trust of this type has been overturned during the last 100 years.
Loved ones can find that they do not benefit from a Will because the assets are ‘diverted’ by remarriage. If one spouse dies and the surviving spouse remarries, then your children and grandchildren could lose out. If your surviving spouse remarries then divorces from their new partner, their new partner could walk away with up to 70% of your estate. If your children inherit and subsequently divorce, your son or daughter in law could walk away with 100% of your estate. Such situations are referred to as “sideways inheritance”. However, this type of Trust can avoid such potential problems by ring-fencing your estate for the explicit benefit of your chosen beneficiaries. Only those you name will benefit, protecting your partner, your children, your grandchildren and future generations.
This type of Trust can appoint a ‘Protector’ to control the assets within it, without intervention by the Court of Protection. This can save substantial expense and time in making decisions that may otherwise require the appointment of a Deputy by the Court of Protection. We also recommend that you make Lasting Powers of Attorneys which are registered with the Office of the Public Guardian Government department to deal with assets which are not practical to place into the Trust. These can include current Bank accounts and shares you may wish to sell in the short term.
If you are in business, have a complex Tax situation or have a substantial amount of outstanding credit, but would like to safeguard your personal assets from unforeseen financial problems. This type of Trust can keep your home and your other assets safe. Even if you need to go bankrupt this type of Trust can avoid the assets held within the trust being taken away. This is particularly useful for those who can suffer financial loss at the hands of a third party through no fault of their own. This type of Trust will also protect the value of your estate during your beneficiaries’ lifetime and subsequent generations who encounter significant financial difficulties.
Many people are reluctant to enter into a new relationship or to progress a relationship fearing the financial consequences if the relationship fails. This is particularly true if you have experienced a costly divorce or become widowed and want to protect your estate for the benefit of your children. By ring-fencing your estate with this type of Trust prior to cohabitation or remarriage, you can ensure that your assets are safe should your new relationship fail in the future.
If you have a disabled child or a beneficiary that is unable to work regularly for another reason they may be state benefit dependent. Money or other assets from your estate placed in this this type of Trust can be received by a disabled child or unemployed person without their loss of state benefits. In these circumstances your chosen beneficiary not only receives the proceeds of your estate but also the state benefits they are entitled to.
This type of Trust can be used to legally reduce or even negate completely the need for your estate to pay Inheritance Tax of 40% before your loved ones inherit your estate. Property price increases and inflation could mean that although your estate is currently valued at below the threshold, by the time you die your estate could have increased in value to be within the Inheritance Tax threshold. This type of Trust could mean your beneficiaries receive substantially more of your estate and the Inland Revenue receive substantially less.
These type of Trusts are a highly specialised area and many Solicitors, Accountants and Financial Advisers refer their clients to specialist Estate Planning Companies such as ourselves. We can provide professionally drafted and fully insured Wealth Preservation Family Trust at very reasonable prices. However, it is even more cost effective if you choose to purchase a Wealth Preservation Family Trust as part of our Total Lifetime Planning Package and are highly recommended as optional extras to our Standard Death Planning Package or Inheritance Tax Planning Package.
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