Most people do. Many write a Will to ensure that the assets they worked hard to acquire during their lifetime are passed on to their loved ones when they die.
However, a Will can only share value of the assets you own at the date of your death. If their value has gone down during your lifetime, there may be little, if anything, left for your loved ones to inherit.
Family Asset Trusts protect your assets for you during your lifetime. They give you the peace of mind that your estate can be passed on securely and intact to your family or other named beneficiaries after you die.
Once you have a Trust, you can use it to 'ring-fence' your assets. Most people ring-fence their home and their savings in their Trust, leaving money in their bank or other savings accounts for ongoing living expenses. Interest (income) from savings protected within the Trust can be paid directly into your bank account to supplement income from earnings or pensions.
Just like a safety deposit box, assets can be added and removed from the Trust during your lifetime. If you have large expenses that cannot be met out of normal income, like a new car, holiday, or house repairs, the appropriate sum can be transferred to your bank account from the Trust.
You are named as the 'Principal Beneficiary' of the Trust and have full control of the assets within the Trust while you are alive and have mental capacity. You are free to move home, or release equity from the Trust at any time.
You can direct the Trustees to sell your property and to buy a new property of your choice. If the new property is more expensive, the Trustees can only be required to buy the new property if the additional money is paid into the Trust by you.
As the Principal Beneficiary of the Trust, the Trustees must look after your interest first and you have a right of occupation in the property for the remainder of your life. The Trustees, usually your children, cannot force you out of your home under any circumstances.
If you lose mental capacity, the law states that you are no longer allowed to manage your own affairs. Assets held within the Trust will then be managed by your Trustees on your behalf. Your Trustees can effectively 'stand in your shoes' to make decisions on your behalf but these must be for your benefit. They are able to add or remove assets or use the income from the Trust to help you to improve the quality of your life.
Assets held outside the Trust will fall under the control of the courts. Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney will enable the people you choose to manage the assets that you own outside of the Trust.
If you go into care, and you do not have a wife, husband or dependant relative living in your home, you will need to decide whether to sell it or to rent it.
If you no longer have mental capacity, your Trustees will need to make this decision for you. If the property is sold, the proceeds will continue to be protected within the Trust and can be invested and you will receive the interest or income earned on the invested capital.
After your death, the Trust continues to work to protect your assets for the people you named as your beneficiaries. The Trust can continue to hold the assets safely within it, or pay them out to these beneficiaries. The Trust is extremely flexible after your death and has the potential to continue protecting your family for 125 years from the date it was created. That means that all of the benefits described in this document can not only protect you and your children but can also protect your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Did you know?
Your Family Asset Trust ring-fences your assets for 125 years. It protects your partner, your children, your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren.