WILLS AND TRUST
WHY MAKE A WILL?
Would you be happy if a court decided who benefited from your wealth and property?
A Will is one of the most important documents you’ll ever own. Not only can it help safeguard your family and all the valuable things that you spend your life working so hard for, but it will also make sure they go to exactly who you want.
Without a valid Will, your property will pass by the Law of Intestacy
This will cost more and take longer than if you had made a will. It is unlikely to represent what you would have wanted and during this time your beneficiaries may not be able to draw any money from your estate. It can lead to distress and hardship for your relatives.
If you are married, don’t assume your wife or husband will get everything. Brothers and sisters or parents may have a claim. Often your children have a right to part of your Estate. If you are living as a couple but not officially married, you may be treated as a single person and a surviving partner may get nothing at all. One thing you can be certain of is that there will be arguments and disputes at a time when the family should be coping with the loss of a loved one.
Making a Will lets your loved ones know that you cared enough to sort things out in advance.
Wills aren’t just for the elderly or wealthy. Everybody needs a Will whatever their age or financial situation.
Using a regulated professional such as Churchill Wills, will provide both you and your family with Peace of Mind. Whether you require single, mirror, or joint Wills, all our services are offered at a fixed rate with no hidden costs. Please see our price list.
WHAT IS A TRUST?
Trusts can protect against the loss of inheritance by a beneficiary through bankruptcy, divorce, future care fees or eventual inheritance Tax (IHT). Trusts have been used by families for centuries to protect wealth.
A trust is a formal transfer of assets (whether they be property, shares or just cash) to a small group of people (usually two or three) known as ‘Trustees’ with instructions that they hold the assets for the benefit of others. If the trust is to be made in your lifetime to take immediate effect, then it is usually evidenced by a trust deed and often referred to as a ‘settlement’. If it is to be created on or shortly after your death then the trust rules must be set out in your will.
Whether by lifetime settlement or by Will, the trust instrument will state who is responsible for looking after the gifted assets (the Trustees), who is to benefit (the Beneficiaries) and any conditions or rules that the Trustees or Beneficiaries must adhere to. The separation of the legal ownership and beneficial ownership (which were once inseparable) is the unique characteristic of the trust concept. The Trustees are the legal owners but the beneficial owners are the Beneficiaries.
How long a trust lasts is entirely as you think appropriate but the trust period must be stated in the trust document. It might be for just a few years, perhaps during a person’s widowhood or until a child attains a certain age or marries. Trusts can last much longer however- up to 125 years. It is usually advisable to give the Trustees the power to terminate the trust at their discretion.
If you are creating the settlement in your lifetime you can appoint yourself and your spouse as Trustees if you wish so that you remain in control of the assets and the decision making.
Regulated professionals Churchill Wills can advise on all your trust requirements and provide a fixed price quotation.