What is a Will Trust?
Making a Will is the first step to ensuring that your estate is shared out as you want it when you die. If you die without a Will, you are said to have died intestate. Your estate is distributed according to a pre-set formula (rules of intestacy) and you have no say over who receives what. There is no flexibility or discretion for their variation by the person dealing with the estate.
Your Will can be used to create a Will Trust (also known as a 'testamentary trust'). The type of Trust and the beneficiaries will be subject to the terms of your Will. A Will Trust such as a Immediate Post-Death Interest Trust (IPDI) can be created through the Will and can provide a surviving spouse (the life tenant) with an income or use of property until their death. On the death of the life tenant, the assets of the Trust pass to the other beneficiaries.
For example, a husband via his Will could put assets into an IPDI Trust with directions that his wife should receive income for life and the assets pass to their children on her death. The wife would be the life tenant and the children the remaindermen.
When you set up a trust it is a legal arrangement and you will need to appoint 'trustees' who are responsible for holding and managing the assets. Trustees have a responsibility to manage the trust on behalf of, and in the best interest of, the beneficiaries in accordance with the trust terms. The trustees, in the example above, can only pay the the life tenant income generated from the trust, the trustees cannot supplement it from capital.
Contact Garden Wall for a holistic review of your Will and Testament needs.