Testamentary Trust Plan

Let us tell you about our Testamentary Trust Plans and why we think they are much better than a standard Will. 

We all know that everyone should have a Will but everyone has 2 options.  You can have a standard Will (which most people have) or a Testamentary Trust Plan.  So what’s the difference.


Well with a standard Will this sets out who is to get your estate when you die.  The problem is that there is no discretion - there is no flexibility.  That means that when you make your Will you have to predict the future (which is pretty much impossible) and hope that you get it right.  When you die your estate needs to be distributed in terms of the Will.  Even if that’s not what you would have wanted.  There is no discretion and no flexibility to alter the distribution.  In other words you have no control after you die.


On the other hand you can have a Testamentary Trust Plan.  This is quite different and – we think – much better.  A Testamentary Trust Plan creates maximum flexibility for the trustees to make the best decisions for your beneficiaries based on their circumstances not at the time you make your Will but at the time you die and also to take into account the legal and tax landscapes at that time.  That of course could be very different from the legal and tax position at the time you make your Will. 


Here are some of the common examples which we find all the time where a beneficiaries circumstances have changed so that leaving them all or part of your estate in terms of your Will turns out to be not a good idea:


  • Alcohol Problem

  • Drug addiction

  • Gambling addiction

  • May be in receipt of state funded care

  • May be in receipt of state benefits

  • Shaky marriage/divorce

  • Business risks

  • Debt problems

  • Bankruptcy

  • Not good with managing money

  • Spend thrift in-laws – etc.


Accordingly if the unexpected happens or the law has changed or the tax implications have changed, the trustees, because you have a Testamentary Trust Plan, can take those changes into account and distribute your estate in a better way than in terms of your Will.  In effect this means that you keep control through the trustees even after your death. 


Accordingly a standard Will is fine but a Testamentary Trust Plan is much better and it takes the guess work and risk out of the situation.


So let’s take risks out of your Will with a Testamentary Trust Plan.


Here are some examples:


My Uncle Bert left everything to his daughter Jean in a standard Will.  He died and then Jean died after him.  When she died the inheritance tax bill was £55,000.  This was because Bert had left everything to Jean in his Will and not for Jean in a Testamentary Trust Plan.  Had he used a Testamentary Trust Plan there would have no inheritance tax to pay. 


In another example  the mother left everything to the 2 daughters in a standard Will.  When she died and they inherited they lost their state benefits.  If the mother had left everything for the daughters in a Testamentary Trust Plan the daughters would still have received their inheritance but would have retained their state benefits.


In another example the father left everything to the 2 children in a standard Will.  After he died the daughter was being divorced and half the estate was then considered in the divorce settlement.  If he had set up a Testamentary Trust Plan leaving everything for the 2 children but not to them, the problem would have been avoided.


We have loads of examples where the discretion afforded by the Testamentary Trust Plan saved the day and many examples where a standard Will caused problems which could have been avoided. 


And here is something else a Testamentary Trust Plan does – a really good idea.


When you die, the trustees lend the inheritance to your beneficiaries.  So it’s theirs to spend.  But because it is technically owned to the trustees, it’s protected in case they go into care etc., etc.  How good is that. 


Accordingly our advice is: 


Firstly everyone needs a Will.  We all know that.


Secondly a standard Will does not go far enough as you lose control and you take risks unnecessarily.


And lastly a Testamentary Trust Plan is much better as it allows your trustees to take account of circumstances which apply at the time of your death but which were not foreseen at the time you made your Will. 

So a Testamentary Trust Plan makes sense.


So why should you use McClure for your Testamentary Trust Plan? 


McClure Solicitors has been providing well informed advice since the firm was founded in 1853. Today we specialise in asset protection, estate planning and inheritance tax planning, helping clients across Great Britain to protect their assets and pass them on efficiently.


McClure has grown to be a national company with offices throughout England, Scotland and Wales, and its Directors are dual qualified in both English and Scots Law. 


Over 600 new clients join McClure each month to take advantage of its fairly unique services.

So why not join them? Call us on 0800 852 1999 or email us to arrange an informal chat. Home Visits also available.

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