Trusts

A trust is an arrangement which comes into effect upon your death, granting trustees control over assets on behalf of others. You might specify what the trust provides each beneficiary, or let the trustees have discretion over how and when they distribute funds. If this is the case you would lay out guidelines in a letter of wishes.

Anyone can be a beneficiary including: a named individual, a class of people, such as “my grandchildren and their descendants”, a charity (or a number of charities), any other organisation such a as a company or club. To be made a beneficiary, you do not even have to have been born yet, allowing people to plan for future descendants. It’s usually best practice to have at least one non-beneficiary trustee, especially if significant discretions are given to trustees in the terms of the trust to avoid conflict of interest.

Trusts can be tailored to meet the particular needs of you and your estate. Some uses would include: Providing income or property for your second spouse during their lifetime, ensuring the assets then pass to the children from your first marriage after their death, funding education for your children and grandchildren and providing for vulnerable loved ones.

Will trusts can be very valuable to estate planning. They specifically can help you to minimise the inheritance tax and take advantage of available tax relief, making sure beneficiaries’ access to benefits or state support isn’t affected by their inheritance and protects your assets from creditors or divorcing partners. They can also help you take advantage of the inheritance tax relief due to your partner if they survive you. By planning ahead with a trust, you can take advantage of inheritance tax, business or agricultural relief, which otherwise might not be available after both you and your spouse have died.

For more information please get in touch with us directly at Hennah Haywood Law!

Will Disputes and Contentious Probate

Not everyone will agree with the deceased’s will after the passing of a relative, friend or acquaintance.  This can be an incredibly hard and emotional experience after losing someone you care about. The grounds for contesting a will are:

·         If you have been disinherited

·         You were related to the deceased OR dependent upon the deceased

·         You believe the will OR signature was forged or fabricated

·         The will was made as a result of duress or made under influence

·         You stood to benefit under an earlier will

·         Where there are concerns the will was made under lacking mental capacity

The Grant of Probate is the legal document which allows one or more people to legally deal with a deceased estate. In order to apply for a Grant of Probate you must firstly assess the size of the estate to ascertain whether any inheritance tax is payable.

Step by Step Guide

1. Obtain death certificate of the deceased

2. Obtain the original will to ascertain who the executors are. Joint executors are named all will need to sign probate documents, even if they agree one will take the lead role.

3. Make a preliminary valuation of the estate. For property you may need a professional valuation to satisfy HMRC.

4. Complete IHT form, swear oath and apply for the grant of probate by submitting the forms along with the original will, death certificate and probate registry fee. If the estate is worth more than £325,000.00 inheritance tax will be payable.

5. Pay any inheritance tax (IHT) that is due. If the bulk of assets are tied up in property you can pay IHT in instalments.

6. Probate Registry will then send you the Grant of Probate.

7. Deal with the liabilities of the estate and then distribute the assets.

If you believe you qualify to make a claim, contact us today at Hennah Haywood Law for us to assess the merits of your case on 01633 262848.

Trainee Solicitor

Jodie Lewis

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