Further Protection using Trusts
Marriage after Death
You die, you leave everything to your partner/spouse and they eventually enter into a new relationship and subsequently get married.
They then die themselves.
Everything of theirs then passes to the new spouse.
Your children’s complete inheritance is now destined to go to the Will Beneficiaries of your partner’s new spouse.
This is not something most people wish to consider. As a result, this is all too often a stark reality for many children whose surviving parent remarried and subsequently died (or divorced where 50% of the inherited estate could be at risk).
The solution as a couple
Sever the tenancy on the property and set up two Trusts. Then upon first death, the assets of the deceased that have been directed into the Trust will be safe for the nominated Beneficiaries. If the surviving spouse then remarries and dies, the Trust protects the first partner’s estate from being lost to the new spouse of the surviving partner. If the surviving partner does not revoke or change the condition of their own Trust after the death of their first spouse, then their nominated assets would go into their Trust. This means that the new spouse would only inherit that which the surviving spouse from the first relationship specifically gifts to them in their Will. The children of the first relationship then have their inheritance intact, as would have been the desire of the first spouse prior to their death.
The solution as a single person
Set up a Trust and convey those assets into it, that you wish to have protected for the benefit of your chosen Beneficiaries. If you then remarry and subsequently die before your spouse, or even divorce further down the line, all assets in the Trust are 100% protected and cannot be lost through death or taken into consideration in any divorce proceedings.
Any asset inherited within a Trust will not in itself create an inheritance tax liability on the estate of the individual that inherits it.
Even though inheritance tax may be payable on your own estate when you die, choosing to leave your assets to your children via a Trust will protect future generations. Your grandchildren and future descendants will not incur any inheritance tax liabilities on these assets, so long as they remain in the Trust.
Any asset inherited within a Trust will not be considered in any divorce proceedings that the individual who inherited may find themselves involved in.
As with divorce, most assets inherited within a Trust cannot be considered for seizure should the individual find themselves facing bankruptcy proceedings at any point after inheritance.
Where a dependant is disabled, appointing assets from a Will into a Trust of which they are a potential Beneficiary, not only ensures that their inheritance will be well managed on their behalf by the Trustee(s), but also ensures in many cases that any benefits or local authority funding entitlements will not be affected or taken away, as they would be if the Beneficiary received an inheritance absolutely in their own name.
Vulnerable, wayward or alcohol/drug dependant relatives
In much the same way as Trusts can protect the interests of disabled Beneficiaries, they can also be used to help manage the distribution of assets to individuals for whom it would not be prudent to allow unfettered access. This could be because they might be at risk of manipulation if they inherited directly, or might be likely to squander it, or even be at risk of killing themselves if addicted to alcohol or substance abuse. By providing for them via a Trust, it ensures that their wellbeing can be catered for without increasing any risks that would otherwise happen if they inherited absolutely in their own name. If they are not entitled absolutely to any income, then this can also prevent the loss of benefits or local authority funding entitlements.