When creating a Will you will need to nominate who you wish to appoint as your executors and trustees. Your executors will be the people responsible for distributing your estate as per your Will and your trustees will be responsible for holding any assets until they need to be distributed. For further information as to the role of being an executor, please click here.
Trustees may hold your estate until a minor has reached the age required for them to have their gifts or they may be responsible for the distribution of assets when they are held in a trust. We offer a variety of trusts; for example you may have one of the following in your Will: Wealth Protection Trust, Discretionary Nil Rate Band Trust, Life Interest in Property or a Vulnerable Persons Trust.
If your Will contains a trust, it is important to give your trustees the information they require as to how you wish for them to act. This is particularly important if the trust is discretionary as without your guidance, they will need to use their own discretion when responsible for the trust. This could potentially result in the distribution of the trust not reflecting your wishes.
In order to avoid this, we advise our clients to write a letter to their trustees explaining their wishes in detail so that the trustees can use it as a guide to help them when the time comes to act. The letter may detail who should receive more or less from the trust or, when and how to distribute the assets within the fund. For example, you could advise that you would like the money to be used for educational purposes. Alternatively, you may wish for your beneficiaries to receive a continuous sum of money annually or you may feel when they reach a specific age they can have everything.
This letter should be stored with your Will, but not attached to it, so that your executors and trustees can locate it when it is needed. It is also important to ensure that someone knows where these documents are stored. If you are unsure if your Will contains a trust, or if you should write a letter, please click here.