Our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts Legal Hour is hosted by Sarah Lockyer, Principal Associate in our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts department.
If you require further help regarding Wills, probate, tax and trusts, please phone us on 01279 755777 or contact Sarah Lockyer directly.
Our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts Team will be hosting the Nockolds Legal Hour on the following dates:
|Wednesday 20th September 2017 ||12pm - 1pm |
|Wednesday 1st November 2017 ||12pm - 1pm |
|Wednesday 13th December 2017 ||12pm - 1pm |
Our Latest Legal Hour Questions (28.06.17) Read your previously answered questions here
What is a trust?
Most people think trusts are complicated and this puts them off using them but the basic idea is very simple: People (called ‘Trustees’) are appointed to look after money or property (usually called ‘Trust Assets’) for the benefit of other people (called ‘Beneficiaries’). There are different types of trusts. In some types of trusts (called Flexible or Discretionary Trusts) it is completely up to the Trustees which Beneficiaries have the use of any Trust Asset. For example, they can decide that one Beneficiary may live in a house but that, on his or her death, the property will pass to another Beneficiary. In other trusts a Beneficiary may have the right to have the income from the Trust Asset (e.g. the interest on a building society) but will not be able to spend all the money which is preserved for another Beneficiary.
Trusts can be used to hold money for young children until they are a specified age and also to provide for a number of different Beneficiaries where your personal situation is uncertain. In a nutshell, do not be afraid of trusts as they may be a useful tool for you to provide for your family.
I have been asked by a friend to be an executor of his Will – should I accept?
Legally an executor is responsible for sorting out a person’s estate when they die. This includes working out what assets they have (e.g. bank accounts, property, shares and insurance policies) and paying any debts (including any Inheritance Tax payable). They would then pay the money to the beneficiaries of the estate. An executor will not usually be personally responsible for any debts of the person who has died but can be held personally accountable to the beneficiaries or to people who are owed money where they do not follow the legal rules for sorting out an estate. It can mean a lot of work and may be quite a burden and so before accepting this you may want to ask your friend about his estate and what would be involved. Many executors ask solicitors to help them carry out the work so you may also ask your friend whether he would be happy for you to instruct a solicitor to advise you on your duties and to carry out some or all of the work and for the costs to be paid from the estate. The solicitor will help you carry out your job in accordance with the law and so protect you.
It is our experience that executors often accept this appointment without knowing what is involved and so you should give this careful consideration.