Protecting Your Assets with Will Trusts: A Comprehensive Guide

Protecting Your Assets with Will Trusts: A Comprehensive Guide

Estate planning is crucial in ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes and securing the financial future of your loved ones. A powerful tool in achieving this goal is the use of Will Trusts, also known as testamentary trusts. Will Trusts are created within your will, providing flexibility and control in distributing your assets while offering several advantages over conventional bequests. Not only can they cater to the specific needs of your beneficiaries, but they also provide potential tax benefits, asset protection, and estate preservation.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the workings of Will Trusts, the different types available, the advantages of including them in your estate plan, and the essential considerations when establishing one. By gaining an understanding of Will Trusts and tailoring them to suit your unique requirements, you can create a robust and customised estate plan that firmly safeguards your assets and the financial wellbeing of your loved ones.

1. Understanding Will Trusts: What Are They and How Do They Work?

A Will Trust, also known as a testamentary trust, is a legal arrangement created within your will to govern the distribution of your assets to your chosen beneficiaries. Instead of directly passing assets to beneficiaries, a Will Trust designates trustees – individuals or entities responsible for managing your trust assets according to the terms you set out in your will.

When you pass away, the executor of your estate oversees the distribution of assets into the trust. The trustees then manage the assets with the interests of your beneficiaries in mind, whether that involves distributing income, preserving assets for minor beneficiaries, or addressing other specific needs.

2. Types of Will Trusts: Choosing the Right One for Your Needs

There are several types of Will Trusts, each catering to different requirements and objectives:

– Life Interest Trust: Under this trust, a beneficiary, known as a life tenant, is granted the right to receive income from the trust assets for their lifetime. Upon the life tenant’s death, the remaining assets are distributed to the remainder beneficiaries.

– Discretionary Trust: This trust provides the trustees with the discretion to distribute income or capital amongst a group of beneficiaries. It can be useful when a beneficiary has uncertain financial needs or when you want to protect assets from potential creditors.

– Protective Trust: This trust is designed for beneficiaries who may be unable to manage their own finances due to incapacity or vulnerability. The trust provides for the beneficiary’s needs while ensuring the assets remain protected.

– Trust for Minors: This trust type is established for beneficiaries under a specific age, usually 18 or 21. Until the beneficiary reaches the specified age, the trustees manage the assets on their behalf.

Selecting the most suitable type of trust depends on your estate planning objectives, preferences, and beneficiaries’ unique needs.

3. Advantages of Including Will Trusts in Your Estate Plan

Incorporating Will Trusts into your estate plan has many benefits, some of which include:

– Flexibility: Will Trusts offer greater control and flexibility in distributing assets, allowing you to address the specific needs of your beneficiaries while upholding your wishes.

– Tax Efficiency: Some Will Trusts can help reduce the impact of inheritance tax on your estate, ensuring that more of your assets are preserved for your loved ones.

– Asset Protection: Will Trusts can provide protection against creditors or the financial fallout of beneficiaries’ life events, such as divorce, bankruptcy, or incapacity.

– Estate Preservation: Trusts enable you to pass assets down to future generations, preserving your family’s wealth and legacy.

4. Key Considerations When Establishing a Will Trust

When setting up a Will Trust, it is vital to consider the following factors:

– Clearly Defined Objectives: Determine your estate planning goals and identify the specific needs of your beneficiaries to help you choose the optimal trust structure.

– Trustee Selection: Appoint trustworthy, reliable, and experienced individuals or entities as trustees. They should possess the knowledge and expertise required to manage trust assets effectively.

– Regular Reviews: Circumstances change. Periodically review your Will Trust to ensure it continues to align with your objectives and remains compliant with current regulations.

– Professional Guidance: Seek expert advice from estate planning specialists to ensure your Will Trust is set up correctly, adhering to legal requirements and best practices.


Will Trusts are a powerful succession planning tool, offering flexibility and control in managing your assets while addressing the unique needs of your beneficiaries. By understanding the various types of trusts, recognising the benefits they provide, and considering the key factors when establishing one, you can create a robust and customised estate plan that provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Sovereign Planning’s team of skilled professionals is dedicated to guiding you through the complexities of setting up a Will Trust, ensuring your estate plan is tailored to your specific objectives. Contact us today to discuss your requirements and let us help you in writing a will trust that protects your assets, caters to the needs of your beneficiaries, and preserves your legacy.

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