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Wills, Probate & Trust

Is a Property Trust right for me?

Monday, May 13, 2024

More and more are we contacted by clients asking what can be done to protect their property in the event they were to go into some form of means tested care.

Often, clients will inform us that they have been looking online and have read that it is possible to place a house into a trust to ensure, on the guarantee of the website, that the house therefore cannot be touched by the local authority.

On paper this sounds ideal but it is never that simple. One such institution offering this miracle fix was “The Will Writing Company” and McClures Solicitors. Today, the BBC have run an article on the two companies, and the content speaks for itself:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c51nzr0zv4lo

A property trust is not a simple matter and is something that we do not advise a client enters into without very clear advice on both the immediate and future implications.

Ultimately, by placing a property in trust you are giving away the asset and you will be entirely at the mercy of the trustees for any decisions relating to it. As you can see within the article, this can lead to considerable delays, fees, and stress if you are not informed, or the trust is not managed properly.

That said, a property trust can be an appropriate safeguard for an individual and their estate depending on their circumstances. The most important thing is to enter into these arrangements with full knowledge and understanding.

If you have placed a property into trust already, it is possible to wind up the trust and return assets but there are certain legal formalities which need to be followed. Alternatively, it is possible to change the trustees from professional bodies to individuals (i.e. family members) which may be more favourable in terms of immediate action when required.

The team at Samuel Phillips Law Firm offer free 30-minute appointments to discuss the requirements of each client prior to proceeding with any work and have experience in both establishing and winding up of trusts. If you are interested in discussing the suitability of a trust or indeed want to discuss winding up of an existing trust, please fee free to contact me on 0191 232 8451.

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