What is a Trust in a Will?
People use Trusts in their Wills for a wide range of reasons, although they are normally utilised to either provide an inheritance for children or protect property. Sometimes, Trusts are included in Wills in order to ensure that vulnerable family members are provided for.
A Trust is a legal entity. It enables a person/people who are not the legal owner of an asset/s to benefit from the asset/s. These people are known as the “Beneficiaries”.
The person or people who manage a trust are known as “Trustees”.
What Do Trustees Do in a Will?
After you die, the people who you have chosen to carry out the wishes contained in your Will – known as the Executors – will pay off any debts and distribute any remaining money according to your specifications. If you have a Trust, your nominated Trustees will then manage your Trust, according to its terms, for the benefit of the Trust’s beneficiaries. The Trustees must always act in the beneficiaries’ best interests.
Being a Trustee can be demanding and the support of specialists may be required. Always choose people who you can trust to carry out what is an extremely important role. Being skilled and experienced in administration is also preferable.
It’s important to ask permission from trustees beforehand, so that you can be sure they are ready and willing to undertake the necessary tasks after your death. Otherwise, there could be problems further down the line if, for example, a Trustee does not want to take up their role when you pass away.