If you are looking to provide for your family after you have passed away, you may have considered a type of trust - often referred to as a ‘Family Protection Trust’ or ‘Asset Protection Trust’. As these terms suggest, these types of trusts are designed to protect your family wealth from a variety of different circumstances. While setting up a trust is not right for everyone, it can provide a broad range of benefits under the right circumstances. In this article, we look at some of the protections a trust might afford your assets and your future family wealth.
Trusts are an important part of Inheritance Tax planning and can help you minimise the amount of Inheritance Tax payable on your estate. With a Family Protection Trust, you can transfer assets to younger generations and reduce the value of your estate whilst also maintaining control over how those assets are used.
A serious concern for many is that their children’s inheritance will be dramatically reduced as a result of paying for their parents' care costs. If you require care when you are elderly, your capital (normally including your home) will be assessed to determine whether you will be required to pay the cost of care yourself, or whether this will be provided. Care costs can be significant, and over time can impact what is left for your children to inherit.
There are several options to allow you to protect your assets from care costs using trusts. In the right circumstances, a trust can play a part in protecting assets for future generations.
Sideways disinheritance occurs when you pass away, all of your assets pass to your spouse, and they then remarry - which means your assets may pass to another family. When you place your assets in a trust, you may control how these assets are used and distributed, even after you pass away.
One of the main reasons people choose to set up a trust is to provide for dependents. If you have young children, or an adult who cannot manage their own financial affairs, setting up a trust can be an excellent way to provide for them well into the future. You can set out clearly how you wish for them to access trust assets in the trust deed, for example, they may receive a monthly payment or be able to live in property held in the trust.
Murray Beith Murray Partner, Peter Shand, is head of the Asset Protection group and is a specialist in succession and estate planning. If you would like to discuss any of the issues covered in this article, or if you require assistance with any other matter, please complete our contact form or call us on 0131 225 1200.
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