Some will writing businesses and solicitor firms offer a service where they create a trust during the clients lifetime where the clients transfer some or all of their assets into that trust for the eventual benefit of their family.
These Trusts go by different names and are sometimes called Family Trusts or Universal Trusts.
Typically these are marketed as a way to avoid having to sell the family home to pay for care home fees in the future. This saving on care home fees can be used as a way to justify the large cost of setting the trust up.
We do not offer these types of trust, nor do we promote them.
This is not to say that they don’t work, but only to say that they may not be as good as they seem to be, and could even be a total waste of money.
The effectiveness of the Trust is based around why the trust is being set up in the first place, and whether the gift into the trust of say the family home is deemed to be a permanent and unconditional gift.
If a local authority feels a person set up an asset protection trust with an intention to prevent the family home being sold to pay for care home fees then they may decide that this is deliberate deprivation of capital and ignore the trust when making their financial assessment that is carried out to determine who should pay for care home fees, the local authority or the individual.
Also clients may be told that they can “change their mind at any time” or “they remain in total control of their assets at all times”. There is a real danger that if a client believes these statements or was told these statements that the trust could be viewed as an artificial or scam trust and this may have serious and detrimental impact on how the Trust is viewed by local authorities and the courts.
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There’s no obligation to act on anything we tell you, but if you do wanted listen to our advice and tell us to do the work, that’s when we will charge a fee.