What is a Protective Property Trust Will?
A protective property trust Will is a Will designed to help protect your property from an assessment to long term care fees. The half share of the family home belonging to the first spouse to die passes into the trust upon their death. The trust provides a life interest in favour of the surviving spouse which means that they can benefit from the share of the house in the trust during their lifetime. Upon their death the trust fund passes to others, usually the children of the family.
What happens to the title deeds of the property?
When you make your Protective Property Trusts Wills you need to ensure that the property is owned in your joint names as tenants in common (we check this and organise the change for you if required.) After death of the first spouse the legal title should be transferred into the joint names of the surviving spouse and the trustees (these are usually the same persons as your executors,) the surviving partner can be one of the trustees.
Isn't it easier if we simply give our property to our children today?
This may seem a straightforward option, however, you are vulnerable should any of your children become bankrupt, get divorced or die during your lifetime. If any of these events occurred, a sale of the property could be forced to make the child's share available to his or her creditors/the court or executors. Or you might simply fall out with your children and they could request that the property be sold so that they can receive their share of the cash proceeds of the sale.
What if the surviving spouse wants to move house?
This is not a problem. The family home can be sold and an alternative property purchased. If the property which is purchased costs less than the original property, any profit would have to be shared equally between the surviving spouse and the trustees (usually the children).
What if I change my mind?
Since the trust does not come into existence until the first spouse dies, you can simply change your Wills before this time.