PROPERTY PROTECTION TRUSTGuarantee your legacy

Why should I protect my property?

Generally, couples want the family home to pass to their children. They often leave their assets to each other initially, in the hope that everything will pass to their children in due course.

Unfortunately, things are not always this straightforward. For example, if your partner was to start a new relationship or re-marry after your death, the property could pass “sideways” to their new partner or spouse. Also, if the survivor has to go into care in their later years, the property could be sold to pay for their care fees.

A Property Protection Trust is a simple solution, and comes into force after the death of the first partner. When the first partner passes away, they do not leave their share to the survivor. They instead place their share into a protective property trust, with the survivor and the children named as beneficiaries. When the survivor later passes away, the share that has been protected under the trust will pass to the children; even where the survivor has re-married, gone into care, gone bankrupt or changed their Will.

What are the benefits?

AVOID CARE FEES

In 2019, the average cost of a residential care home was £33,852 a year in the UK. This figure rose to over £47,320 a year when nursing care was included*.

Currently, anyone with assets or income over £23,250 will not receive a contribution towards their care costs. This often means that assets such as the family home are used to fund care. Trusts can help to protect assets for your loved ones.

(*Laing & Buisson Care of Older People Report 30th Edition 2019)

KEEP CONTROL

This type of trust structure is commonly used to control assets after death. The trust can provide flexibility, and certainty as to who the property will ultimately pass to in the future.

BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION

Trusts can safeguard assets in the event of bankruptcy proceedings being taken. In the current economic climate where many people are struggling with debt and the potential for bankruptcy threatens a greater proportion of society, protective trusts may be a very useful vehicle to protect the family home in particular.

SIDEWAYS DISINHERITANCE

So often assets are left to a partner or spouse through a simple ‘Mirrored Will’. The hope is that the assets are later passed down to children, however this arrangement can often be problematic, particularly where the surviving partner meets a new partner or even re-marries. Also, it is not uncommon for the children to lose out because the surviving partner goes into a care home; changes their Will or goes bankrupt. Property Protection Trusts are a really effective way to avoid this, and help guarantee your children’s inheritance.

GUARANTEE INHERITANCE

So many factors affect whether or not the family home is passed down to children.  For couples who want to guarantee who ultimately benefits from their home, a Property Protection Trust is an essential tool in the estate planning toolkit. As well as protecting children’s inheritance the arrangement also ensure the family home is not passed on until both property owners have passed away.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I have a Property Protection Trust?

By having a Property Protection Trust (PPT) you are ensuring that your home, which is your most valuable asset, passes to your chosen beneficiaries regardless of what the future holds. If this is your goal, a PPT could help.

Can I not just gift the property to my children?

Some people consider giving their property to someone else, such as a child, so that the asset won’t be counted for a care fees assessment. However, this may be viewed as a deliberate deprivation of assets, and you would then have to pay the same level of care fees as if you still owned the property.

Also, if your child’s circumstances were to change during their lifetime, you run the risk of losing the property and becoming homeless. For example, if your child went through bankruptcy, a divorce or they passed away, you may no longer be able to live in the property as the asset would be in their name and could be taken.

As a result, we would never recommend transferring a property into the names of children, or a third party without meticulous planning and advice.

Who oversees the trust?

The trust is managed by the trustees appointed in your Will. It is quite common for clients to choose their siblings or friends for this role. In addition, it is also usual for the surviving spouse or partner to be named as a trustee too.

Your trustees are in a position of responsibility, so it is really important that the people you appoint are trustworthy and reliable.

We have a mortgage on our property. Is this a problem?

Not at all. Where you have a mortgage in place, the trust will protect the deceased’s share of the equity in the property.

My partner and I have separate children. Will the trust help us?

Leaving everything to your spouse or partner when you pass away, in the hope that they will in turn leave the assets to your children, could be unwise. Below are a few examples of where the children could lose out:

  • If after your death the surviving partner goes into care during their remaining lifetime, and the property is used to pay for their care fees.
  • If after you pass away the relationship between your children and the survivor breaks down.
  • If after you pass away the surviving partner becomes bankrupt or remarries.

By doing a Property Protection Trust, your half or share of the property can be guaranteed for your children’s future.

I am a single person. Can I organise this trust?

No. This type of trust is specifically for couples. However, we do have a separate solution for single people called a “Home Protection Trust”. Information about this can be found under our “Services” page.

When is the best time to set up a trust?

Trusts should be set up when you are fit and healthy, as unfortunately, none of us know what may be around the corner. Also, this type of trust can only be established whilst the joint owners of a property are alive. We are often contacted by clients after they have lost their partner, and at this stage a Property Protection Trust cannot be organised.

Are we still able to move house as normal?

Yes, there are no restrictions on this. Moving home is done in the usual way, without any additional paperwork or costs. The trust will automatically follow you and your partner as long as you both own the new property as Tenants in Common.

The trust will also allow the surviving spouse or partner to move home as he or she wishes. In such circumstances, the trust would simply transfer to the new property. It would simply be purchased in the names of both the surviving spouse and the trustees. If the property purchased costs less than the original property, then any equity released would be split between the survivor and the trustees. If the survivor purchases a more expensive property, the survivor would have to contribute the extra money, but would own an increased share of the property.

What does Tenants in Common mean?

You can own a property as either “joint tenants” or “tenants in common”. As tenants in common, you can own different shares of the property. Also, the property does not automatically pass to the other owner if you die. Instead, you can pass on your share of the property through your Will.

Can other assets go into this trust, and are there any ongoing fees?

This particular type of trust is designed for the family home. However, we provide different types of trusts for all types of assets.

After you have paid the initial fee for the Property Protection Trust, there are no further fees unless professional trustees have been appointed.

PROPERTY PROTECTION TRUSTS FOR A COUPLE
£549
Mirrored Wills, including a two Property Protection Trusts and a severance of joint tenancy (if applicable).

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