A Trust is a legal arrangement whereby one party holds money and property for the benefit of another. We can help set up these Trusts within a Will or during your lifetime.
At the same time as we review your Will we can discuss your other tax planning and asset distribution options. You are entitled to distribute your assets whilst you are alive. You could do so by making absolute gifts from which you will not continue to benefit or alternatively you could create a trust into which you could either now or in the future transfer assets (Pilot Trust).
A pilot trust is set up during the lifetime of the testator/settlor, ready to receive funds and/or property upon theirdeath from a legacy in their Will, a pension fund, a life insurance payout or death-in-service benefit. Also known as feeder trusts or family bypass trusts they are normally discretionary and can be created with as little as £10. Hardings Solicitors can act as Trustees should you require this, solely or jointly with family members, or in a purely advisory and administrative capacity.
The testator/settlor may leave a letter of wishes with the trustees explaining why the trust was created and how the beneficiaries should be treated. A pilot trust is useful when the testator/settlor wishes to benefit different members of the family, future generations and/or children from a previous marriage. The trust may also offer protection from creditors, divorce claims, future care costs or financial abuse by or of beneficiaries.
Unmarried couples may also find pilot trusts useful. As there is no spousal exemption to utilise they could leave their nil rate band to the trust with the residue to a cohabitee with a significant inheritance tax saving.
If death-in-service benefits, pension funds and life insurance payouts pass into pilot trusts they will not form part of the estate of the deceased. The funds will be readily available without the need for probate and there could be considerable tax savings. Multiple trusts may also be created, (as long as they are not formed on the same day) and if each fund is limited to £325,000 (the present IHT threshold) there will be no 10 year anniversary charges or exit charges.
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