Trusts in Wills

Trusts in Wills

Many Wills may have a Trust written into them but there is often confusion surrounding the reasons why it has been included and what it means.

It is important to remember that although the Trust in the Will is treated as coming into effect when a person dies, there may be some decisions for the named Trustees to make and it may be necessary for legal documents to be drafted to set up the Trust appropriately.

A Trust that is contained in a Will comes into effect when the Executors who have administered the estate transfer the assets (such as money or land) into the hands of Trustees. The Trustees are the legal owners of these assets but are not entitled to any benefits of the Trust, unless they are named as a beneficiary themselves. The Trustees are obliged to hold and manage the property for the benefit of a person or a group of people, who are called beneficiaries.

Trustees who are named in a Will have the option to take up their role or they can choose to retire their duty as Trustee if they so wish.  The power of appointing a new Trustee lies with them, in most instances. For Trusts involving land, at least two Trustees must be appointed.

There are several types of Trusts but the most commonly used include Trusts for minors and Discretionary Trusts.

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Kate’s financial worries demonstrate the need for LPA

TV personality Kate Garraway’s publicized financial worries, due to her husband currently being in a coma in hospital due to the coronavirus, is a timely reminder of the importance of Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs).

Kate’s husband Derek was diagnosed with coronavirus back in March. Although he is now testing negative for the illness he is still in hospital battling against the virus’ aftermath.

This has left Kate alone, to parent their two children and to deal with the household finances and insurance policies. The latter which she is struggling with, due to Derek being the named person on the bills and different policies.

Kate spoke very open and honestly about her financial worries, on Good Morning Britain.

She said:

“One of the practical problems – which a lot of people would’ve experienced if they’ve got the absence of someone in their life – like many thing the car is entirely in Derek’s name, the insurance is in Derek’s name, a lot of our bank accounts.

“There are a lot of financial going that I’ve talked to you both about going on, which is making life very complicated because I can’t get access to things.”

She added:

“Because legally I haven’t got power of attorney. And all this other stuff that goes on when you’re dealing with a situation where someone’s been sick for a long time.”

Whilst people have been using the time in lockdown to get their affairs in order by creating Wills, it’s also beneficial to talk to your clients about the benefits of an LPA.

Kate Garraway’s situation clearly demonstrates the importance of an LPA, and may break the taboo around them only being needed for elderly or vulnerable relatives.

The ongoing trend of leaving a digital legacy

The ongoing trend of leaving a digital legacy

The ongoing trend of leaving a digital legacy
By the end of this century, the number of dead people on the popular social media network, Facebook, is expected to outnumber living members – turning it into the world’s biggest ‘virtual graveyard’.

Additionally, a recent YouGov survey revealed that 26% of people would like the content of their social media accounts to pass to their loved ones once they have died. The survey showed that 67% of respondents wanted their social media accounts taken offline after their death and only 7% wanted them to remain online.

Due to the strong interest in social media and our ‘online life’, the trend of people looking to leave farewell messages to their loved ones via various social networks or online platforms is becoming more common.

Digital legacies can cause issues linked to privacy rules and data protection regulations, highlighting the question of who ‘owns’ your virtual life. Online assets are being viewed as an increasingly important subject and many people are now including clauses about them in their Wills. It is not clear what happens to data collected during a lifetime after someone passes away, which could potentially cause upset to family members if there is any uncertainty.

It is important to discuss your wishes regarding your online accounts with your Executor so that your final wishes are carried out, regardless of your intentions.

Contact us today for more information on digital legacies.
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