A 'Discretionary Trust Will' is suitable if you want to create a trust into which a share of your marital home is placed in order either to protect against assets being used by a local authority to cover the cost of residential nursing care for your spouse/civil partner, or to ensure that children from a previous relationship are provided for. However, you can only use this Will if your share of the marital home is worth over £50,000 after deduction of any mortgage. It will also let you leave instructions about what should happen to your remaining estate when you die. For example, it lets you specify who should inherit belongings and property, and how your money should be distributed. You can also name a guardian for any children under the age of 18 and appoint an executor or executors – people who will be responsible for implementing the instructions in your Will and for the administration of your estate.
This will is suitable for a person who is married or in a civil partnership and wishes to create a discretionary trust of their nil rate band. This may, for example, be done:
1. To try and restrict a local authority from accessing funds/assets derived from your estate to cover the cost of long-term medical or nursing care for your surviving spouse/civil partner; or
2. To ensure that gifts intended for children/grandchildren from a former relationship are received by them, without the danger of the surviving spouse/civil partner reducing the amount that goes to them.
In addition, you can make as many gifts of money and specific items as you like. You can leave the residuary estate (i.e. what's left after gifts and after deduction of the amount going into the discretionary trust) to as many people as you like, either in equal or unequal shares. You can also appoint guardians for your children and make provisions for the care of pets.
Please note that in order to use this document, your net estate must be worth more than £50,000.
This document is only suitable for use in England & Wales, and Northern Ireland. Those with spouses/civil partners domiciled outside the UK should seek tax advice, as modified inheritance tax rules apply.
A letter of wishes is an informal letter addressed to your executors or to the trustees of any trust created by your will. It is used to tell them what you would like to happen following your death. Unlike your will, the letter of wishes does not become publicly available when you die. It can be used to help or guide your executors or trustees on pretty much anything you wish. It does not interfere with or restrict the discretion of the executors or trustees in any way.
Take a look at our Will writing guide to find out what's involved and what you need to do to prepare.
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