The Vital Role of Will Trusts in Protecting Your Legacy and Loved Ones

The Vital Role of Will Trusts in Protecting Your Legacy and Loved Ones

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When developing a comprehensive estate plan, incorporating Will Trusts can be a highly effective way to protect your assets and care for your loved ones after your passing. A Will Trust, also known as a Testamentary Trust, is established within your will and comes into effect once you pass away. These trusts allow you to set specific conditions on how your assets are managed and distributed, ensuring your legacy remains secure and your wishes are honoured.

Will Trusts can be tailored to suit your unique circumstances, offering numerous advantages over simply leaving your assets through an outright gift in a will. For example, you might use a trust to provide for minor children, protect a family business or mitigate inheritance tax liabilities. Understanding the various types of Will Trusts and how they can be used effectively is essential for creating a robust estate plan that safeguards your assets and addresses your family’s needs.

In this article, we will delve into the different types of Will Trusts, their benefits and limitations, and how to decide which one is right for you. We will also provide guidance on the many factors to consider when setting up a Will Trust, such as choosing trustees, specifying the terms of the trust, and navigating tax implications. Let our team of experienced professionals guide you through the complexities of Will Trusts, ensuring you create a lasting legacy that aligns with your wishes and protects the interests of your loved ones.

Common Types of Will Trusts

There are several types of Will Trusts, each designed to address specific needs and circumstances. Some of the most common include:

  • Bare Trust: Also known as a simple trust, a Bare Trust is the most straightforward form of trust. The assets are held in the name of the trustee(s), but the beneficiary is entitled to all income and capital. The beneficiary gains full control of the assets when they reach the age of 18.
  • Discretionary Trust: This type of trust gives the trustees full discretion over the distribution of income and capital among a group of potential beneficiaries. Discretionary Trusts are popular for their flexibility, as the trustees can adapt to the changing needs and circumstances of the beneficiaries.
  • Interest in Possession Trust: An Interest in Possession Trust allows one beneficiary (the life tenant) to receive the income generated by the trust assets for their lifetime. Upon their death, the capital passes to other beneficiaries (the remaindermen).
  • Protective Property Trust: Designed to protect a share of a property, a Protective Property Trust ensures that a survivor can continue to live in the home they shared with the deceased, while still preserving the deceased’s share of the property for their chosen beneficiaries.

Advantages of Incorporating Will Trusts in Your Estate Plan

Incorporating a Will Trust in your estate plan can offer significant advantages, such as:

  • Control: Will Trusts provide you with greater control over how and when your assets are distributed, allowing you to address specific needs and situations that may arise after your death.
  • Asset protection: Will Trusts can effectively protect your assets from potential claims, such as from creditors or divorce settlements, ensuring your estate is distributed according to your wishes.
  • Tax efficiency: Properly structured trusts can help minimise inheritance tax liabilities and preserve more of your estate for your beneficiaries.
  • Provision for minors or disabled beneficiaries: Will Trusts can ensure that dependent children or disabled beneficiaries are financially provided for, without losing their entitlement to means-tested benefits.

Factors to Consider When Setting Up a Will Trust

When setting up a Will Trust, it is essential to consider various factors:

  • Choosing trustees: Appoint someone you trust to act as trustee(s), as they will be responsible for managing and distributing the trust assets according to your wishes.
  • Specifying the trust terms: Clearly define the terms of the trust, including the powers granted to the trustees and any restrictions or conditions you wish to impose.
  • Tax implications: Consult a professional to understand the tax implications of your chosen trust type, and ensure your Will Trust is structured optimally to reduce tax liabilities.
  • Regular reviews: Review your estate plan and Will Trusts periodically, particularly in response to significant life changes, to ensure they continue to meet your needs and protect your assets.

Seeking Professional Guidance on Will Trusts

Setting up a Will Trust can be complex, and it is crucial to obtain specialist advice to ensure your trust is effective and legally valid. An expert can provide essential guidance on:

  • The most appropriate type of Will Trust for your unique circumstances
  • Any potential tax implications and how to mitigate them
  • Drafting the trust deed and will provisions to ensure your wishes are accurately captured


Incorporating a Will Trust in your estate plan not only provides peace of mind that your assets will be safeguarded, but also ensures that your loved ones are well cared for in accordance with your wishes. Understanding the various types of Will Trusts, along with their advantages and limitations, is essential when deciding how to best structure your estate.

With our help, you can navigate the complexities of setting up a Will Trust and create a lasting legacy that reflects your values and secures the future of your loved ones. Contact Sovereign Planning today to begin the process of crafting your tailor-made estate plan.

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