How does a Flexible Will Trust work?
Instead of giving your estate to beneficiaries outright, you appoint Trustees to hold the estate in discretionary trusts for the beneficiaries. By preparing a Deed of Wishes, you can decide which of your assets you wish to place in the Trust and how you require the Trust to be administered on behalf of your appointed beneficiaries.
It is therefore very important to choose the person(s) to wish to be Trustees very carefully. You must be confident that your Trustees will follow your wishes since they will be the legal owners of the assets held in the Trust, and will have discretion regarding the distribution of the assets, subject to your instructions within the Deed of Wishes. The Trustees may decide:
- How much is paid out.
- To which beneficiary payments are made
- How often payments are made.
- What, if any, conditions are to be imposed on the beneficiary in receiving payment.
Why choose a Flexible Will Trust?
To give protection from your beneficiaries, at the same time, offering protection and flexibility for your beneficiaries.
For example, you may be concerned about a beneficiary who is perhaps not capable or responsible enough to deal with money, or that they would not manage their new found wealth as you would wish.
You could control this situation in your Deed of Wishes by instructing your Trustees to issue small amounts (not more than £200) on a regular and controlled basis with £500 on special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas. You could impose a condition such as that beneficiary completing a course of education or training before they receive any payments.
On the first death of a married couple or partnership you could protect your assets from your spouse if you are concerned about:
- Children from a previous relationship
- Your surviving spouse going to war with other beneficiaries.
In this example your Deed of Wishes may specify income only to your remaining spouse, or you may wish have the Trust wound up in the event of your spouse re-marrying.
On the other hand, you could provide protection and flexibility for your remaining spouse with:
- Nursing care
- Advantageous tax planning opportunities
In this example your Deed of Wishes may be guided by your surviving spouse.
Cost of Flexible Will Trusts
A Flexible Will Trust is more complicated to set up than a standard Will and has ongoing administrative costs. There can be an enormous variation in complexity depending on your specific requirements, and therefore it is difficult to provide just one single cost to cover all levels of complexity. We will be pleased to discuss your specific requirements and provide you with a free estimate.
Please call Wincham Executor & Trustee Company Limited on 03333 441 176. As a guide, the scale of charges will be within the range £240 to £900 for most Flexible Will Trusts, depending on complexity.