The Planning crowd: Let’s talk about a discretionary trust

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Planning crowd

When you decide to make your own Will, you are taking control and making it clear what you would like to happen when you are no longer here.

Some people take that control a step further and include an easy to understand trust in their Will.  All this means is that either all, or some of their assets, actually pass into this trust rather than going directly to their chosen beneficiaries.  This trust is then managed by trustees of their choosing and they often provide a letter of wishes that helps guide the decisions made by those trustees.

If a beneficiary has some lifestyle problems, providing for them through a trust can be a good way to give care and assistance without risking the whole of the funds by simply giving the money straight to them. For example, if an individual had a drug habit or an alcohol addiction, a properly administered trust will ensure that the fund is managed in a sensible way and that all the benefits will not be drained in a reckless way.

Including a Will trust can also be helpful where you have concerns about your assets being ‘lost’ because a beneficiary may have issues such as bankruptcy or they could be going through a divorce.  The trust can provide another layer of control and protection for everything you worked hard for, to make sure it passes to the right people at the right time.

Your beneficiary may also have a potential inheritance tax liability and so, by using this type of trust, you can provide for the beneficiary without making the tax position worse.

If you want to protect your assets, include conditions on how and when beneficiaries benefit or simply exercise some control after you’re gone, then a discretionary trust is definitely worth considering!