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What is a Trust?

Trusts date back the early 13th Century during the period of Crusades. Knights going off to fight would ask a friend or neighbour to look after their property until they returned. Over the centuries, numerous Acts of Parliament have been drafted to make Trusts a safe and secure way to hold your assets. Today Trusts enjoy a special status in the Law and are a part of everyday life. Many charities, schools and hospitals are a Trust. Your pension is a Trust.


Trusts are considered the gold standard of Estate Planning. They are incredibly useful and flexible and can help to protect your assets, reduce probate costs, mitigate tax, stipulate when the beneficiaries may receive the asset and simplify the distribution of your Estate after you have passed away. There are a number of Trusts that can be used to achieve your wishes but all Trusts fall into one of 2 categories: Living Trust or Will Trust.

Types of Trust

Living Trust

A Living Trust, such as our Family Asset Trust, involves the settlor (the person establishing the Trust), the Trustees (the persons who will look after and manage the assets in Trust) and the beneficiaries (who will benefit from the assets held in Trust). Assets placed within them are protected or ‘insulated’ from life's unfortunate events such as:

  • Divorce

  • Bankruptcy

  • Sideways dis-inheritance (Read more here)

  • Care fees

  • Probate (Read more here)

  • Inheritance Tax (IHT) (Read more here).

As well as holding the asset securely, you retain full control of assets within the Trust while you are alive and have capacity. You are free to move home, or release equity from it at anytime, change beneficiaries or trustees. ​It also can help to keep the asset within the bloodline, what we call Bloodline Planning, thus avoiding sideways dis-inheritance.

All our Living Trusts come with a free chartered surveyor valuation.

Will Trust

A Will Trust is a Trust that is written into a Will, it gives guidance to your executors who must create the Trust upon your passing away. The cost of creating the Trust, is paid from your estate. This may be useful if you wish to create a Trust for either a child or vulnerable person.

it is important to note that a Will Trust does not protect your assets from life's unfortunate events such as divorce, bankruptcy, care fees, inheritance tax, sideways disinheritance, probate and so on.

Property Protection Trust

A Property Protection Trust (PPT) is an example of a popular Will Trust in which the asset is a property, or a share of a property.

The Trust is typically established to allow a current occupant to continue living in the property after the passing away of a partner or joint tenant, whilst protecting the capital value for the benefit for others.