Trusts: Your Family, Home, & Estate

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- A Safety Deposit Box for Your Assets

Trusts

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Making a Will is not the only way to secure your future; Trusts are a great way to keep your assets safe, retaining security for you and those you love for the rest of your life.

How do Trusts work?

Trusts are established in your name and for your benefit whilst you are alive. Your assets are placed into this Trust. When the Trust ends, your trustees will pass the assets on to your beneficiaries for you.

 

Why should I bother?

A Trust allows trustees to pass on your assets without complicated processes. It may also negate the need for lengthy Probate proceedings. This could save your estate several thousands of pounds.

Can’t I just give my assets to family members to keep them safe?

Here at Four Seasons, we’d never recommend an outright gift to anybody- not even family members. No matter how close you may be to family members now, circumstances can change. What if you gave your house to your child to keep it safe, only for your child to get divorced in the future? Gifting assets is irreversible. Now, your former son or daughter in law has a claim to your home. It can also cause tax problems for your children, as a second home can be considered a taxable asset.

Placing assets into Trust now may also avoid your estate being eroded by around £26,000 – £50,000 a year (the average cost of residential care in England and Wales).

Doing nothing will mean additional work for your family. It may also lead to the loss of further assets before your death if you need long term residential care. The cost of a Trust is usually less than one month’s fees in a care home. Furthermore, it is often much less than the cost of probate through your bank or solicitor.

What is a Lifetime Trust?

Lifetime Trusts are created whilst you are alive rather than within your Will. They can protect your assets whilst they are still in use by you; speak to one of our consultants for a full explanation.

Why choose Four Seasons Future Planning?

Trusts are complex legal arrangements. You should ensure that your legal provider is a specialist in this area of law.

Four Seasons have vast experience in this area of law. Our legal advisers deal with each client individually, and each Trust is tailor made to your own unique circumstances. As well as creating the Trusts, we can also assist in managing and running them. As well as this, we can act as professional trustees. This provides peace of mind that the obligations of acting as a trustee will be me. This includes the responsibilities of  filing annual reviews and completing tax returns.

We can help ensure that your assets pass to your loved ones, whilst giving you peace of mind that you are also protected.

Do these Trusts really work?

The simple answer is yes they do, if they are created by experts at the right time and in the right manner. Many thousands of these Trusts have been created and have been proven to succeed. Most go through without any difficulty, whilst the rest are usually successful following minor investigations by local authorities. If made at the right time, there’s really no reason why your Trust wouldn’t be accepted. We will always ensure you receive clear, honest advice; furthermore, we will never create  a Trust that has no chance of success.

It is worth noting that making Trusts in later life, just before you go into care, can result in your Trust not being accepted. 

Trusts may seem difficult to understand, but with our help and some careful planning, your assets will be protected. If a Trust sounds like the right option for you, contact us today

 

Home Protection

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It’s likely that your biggest asset is your home; naturally, you’ll want to protect it. We’ll help you to protect your family home so it passes to those you love- it may even be disregarded as an asset during local authority means testing.

The Home Protection Trust

The HPT is a simple and effective way to protect your home. Your home is gifted into a Trust. You then nominate Trustees who will look after the trust, following terms that you stipulate. For example, the Trustees may hold the property for your loved ones, but the property may not be sold while you or any other nominated person continue to live there. This gives you security and at the same time protects the family home, without the need to move out or sell the house.

You can give yourself and your family peace of mind.

You can relax, safe in the knowledge that your home is protected … and so are you.

Concerned that you may wish to move or downsize? Don’t worry! The Trust can be drafted to accommodate this should you so require. The replacement property will then be covered and protected in the same way as the original family home. This is a great way to constantly protect property to leave to your loved ones, despite circumstances that may require you to change residences.

What if I have a mortgage?

All of our trusts are flexible, and can accommodate the fact that there is a mortgage in place. You must ensure you tell us at the time we prepare the documents that you have a mortgage. We will then reflect this in the documents accordingly.

As with any lifetime trust, we advise a consultation with one of our legal advisers. Initial enquiries are easy to make by telephone or email-click here for more information.

Protect your home for your loved ones… for life!

 

Estate Protection

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The Estate Protection Trust – A highly specialised Trust, which not only protects your home, but your savings as well, offering unmatched flexibility.

The Estate Protection Trust – A highly specialised Trust, which not only protects your home, but your savings as well, offering unmatched flexibility. This type of Trust is suitable for everyone, whether you’re single, married or divorced, a married couple, unmarried couple or in a civil partnership; this Trust will protect you and your loved ones.

 

An added benefit of these Trusts is that property or savings held within them may be disregarded for local authority means testing. This is a highly specialised area of law, and we are experts in setting up and running these particular types of Trusts. Indeed, we are often requested by other professionals such as financial advisers or accountants to draft such Trusts on their behalf.

We are specialists in protecting people’s assets – we can help you plan for your future to ensure that as much as possible goes to those you love.

All of the assets held within this type of Trust are held for your benefit whist you are alive. You can move, re-mortgage, downsize or release equity at any time. If you also place savings into the Trust, you still have access to those savings and can even add more (subject to tax and financial advice).

If you change your mind and want to bring the Trust to an end, you may do so. The Estate Protection Trust really is that versatile, and gives you the peace of mind that your assets held in the Trust can easily be accessed should you so require.

What do I get?

We consider this Trust to be the best protection available to you and your family. As such, we offer it as a package with other Trusts, Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney. Do you already have a Will? We can review it for you free of charge to see if it is compatible; if so, we can discount your fees accordingly.

If it sounds too good to be true…

It is good and it really is true, many thousands of these Trusts have been created and used successfully. We are experts, and ensure all of our Trusts are prepared in the correct manner, utilising our decades of combined experience.

The benefits

Everybody has different needs, concerns and priorities. Here are some examples of how the Estate Protection Trust could benefit you:

Avoid probate

With clever planning and our expert advice, your loved ones left behind may be able to totally avoid the need for probate upon your death. This removes not only the expense involved, which can sometimes amount to many thousands of pounds, but also the long delays that can be incurred in going through the probate administration process. This allows estate administration to begin immediately when required.

No claims against the estate

Not all family situations are straightforward; unfortunately, we deal with many families where there are disputes over a deceased person’s estate. If you believe that you have a relative who may seek a share of your estate, even though you do not want them to receive any of your assets, this Trust can totally safeguard your estate from claims by undesired beneficiaries.

Preventing Challenges

Any person can try to challenge your estate after death, such as an estranged child, parent or other relative. However, any assets held within the Trust do not form part of your estate, and are therefore protected against any such action. This can save many thousands of pounds in legal fees and the delay associated with court cases, ensuring those you choose receive what you want them to, and those you didn’t specify to inherit do not do so.

Protection for future relationships

Are you entering into a new relationship following a divorce? Concerned that you don’t want to have to go through a messy,costly divorce again? Do you want to make sure that what you have goes to your children, or do you simply want to protect what you have worked hard for throughout your life?

You’re not alone- many people are reluctant to enter new relationships due to a fear of the financial consequences if the relationship fails. With the Estate Protection Trust, you can ensure any assets placed into the Trust before cohabitation are protected should your relationship sadly break down for any reason.

Protection from Bankruptcy

Another benefit of the Trust is that it protects assets within it from future unforeseen debts. This is of significant benefit if you are in business. Whilst it does not prevent you from being declared bankrupt, it can avoid the trust assets being used to satisfy outstanding debts. This protection also extends to anyone who may benefit from the Trust, preventing losses in the event that your children or grandchildren suffer financial difficulties in the future.

Protects children

The EPT is a great way to protect your children.

If you want to delay the age of inheritance, your Trustees can decide (in accordance with your instructions) when your children receive their share of your estate. This may not only apply to young children, but also to older children, for example if they have personal issues or a shaky marriage. In this case, the Trustees may decide not to distribute until the time is right, such as after a divorce has been settled. This will avoid the heartbreaking scenario in which a portion of your estate is given to the ex-spouse of one of your children.

Many clients are on their second marriage, and want to ensure that their children inherit, whether these be children from the current relationship or from a previous one. Sadly, so many children do not benefit from their parents’ Wills simply due to bad planning or re-marriage. This Trust will protect your assets, giving you peace of mind that your children will receive them- no matter what may happen in the future.

Protection for vulnerable beneficiaries

If you have a close loved one who is disabled or unable to work, you may be concerned that if you leave assets to them they may lose that support from the state. If their inheritance is contained within the Trust, they are protected, and their inheritance will not affect their entitlement to benefits.

Protection upon Incapacity

The Estate Protection Trust appoints Protectors to look after your affairs for the assets held within trust if you lose capability. This avoids the need for the Court of Protection to get involved, which is often costly and time consuming. We do also recommend a Lasting Power of Attorney for assets not placed within the Trust, such as current accounts.

Don’t leave things to chance… leave your estate to those you love!

 

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