When you think about the ways your assets may benefit loved ones in the years to come, you probably tend to see it in terms of making sure those assets stay in the right hands after you’ve gone.
What you might overlook is the fact that during your lifetime there are many potential threats to those assets that can significantly dilute the value of the inheritance you eventually leave behind.
This is why wills and trusts usually go hand in hand
You could think of a trust as a ‘virtual vault’. While you’re alive ─ or through your will when you die ─ you can pop in most kinds of assets including your home, investments, cash or business assets and lock them away.
If your loved ones or trusted others need access to this ‘vault’ ─
for example to help them move home or cover education costs ─ that’s not a problem.
The point is, because the key is held by trustees ─ people you appoint to oversee your assets ─ those trustees can help and guide your loved ones. They’ll provide a buffer against outside influences so that financial predators aren’t able to nibble away at your loved ones’ future inheritance.
The threats you can guard against
Depending on your circumstances these can be many and varied.
For an increasing number of people whose homes have rapidly increased in value, inheritance tax is high on the list. The issue of possible future care fees is another. Then there may be a range of yet-unknown predators who may lay claim to your hard-earned estate at some time in the future.
Trusts that help children inherit responsibly
However well-meaning your legacy may be, we’ve all heard stories of youngsters who inherit too much too soon, and it doesn’t always end well.
Fortunately, there’s a type of trust that allows responsible people appointed by you (the trustees) to release appropriate amounts of funding to a child as and when they need it, with the balance paid when they reach a certain age, for example.
Gone are the days when trusts were only for the rich
When the formalities are done, that’s that. You can then put those uncomfortable thoughts behind you and put your energy into the fun side of life, knowing you’re covered.
As one of those people, your great responsibility now is to protect the fruit of your hard work for those you most want to benefit from it in the future.