Frequently Asked Questions
Surely I won’t go into care! My family would look after me, wouldn’t they?
Indeed, many people never need to go into elderly care, relying on family members to look after them into old age. Sadly, statistics show 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men over 65 do go into care; it’s much better to be safe than sorry. If your condition one day worsens to the point where family members can no longer look after you, care may be the only viable option. In this case, a Trust would be immensely beneficial.
Is a Trust worth it?
Let’s look at the figures; the average care fees are £30,000 per year if you are single, and £60,000 if you are a couple. The Trust takes very little time and a relatively small initial cost to set up, and has the potential to negate the need to pay for care fees. Therefore, the Trust could save your estate tens of thousands of pounds, which can then go to your beneficiaries rather than being spent on care fees.
Why did my previous solicitor not tell me about this?
This is an extremely specialised area; unfortunately, many solicitors do not know how Trusts work, the procedure, or simply do not have the expertise or confidence to make it work. At Accord, we specialise in Trusts, allowing us to provide a reliable and proven service.
What if I don’t go into care?
Trusts are still very much worthwhile, as it will avoid the cost, delay and trouble involved in winding up your estate. If your house is still in your name when you pass away, you will need a solicitor to carry out the Probate procedure. This could cost several thousands of pounds, and can take months to complete. If, however, your assets are in the Trust, the remaining trustees can deal with your affairs immediately after you’re gone, thereby potentiallyavoiding the Probate procedure altogether.
Are there ongoing fees?
After the initial costs, there is nothing more to pay if you choose your own trustees. If, however, you require us to be your professional trustees, we will charge a nominal fee to carry out annual reviews and tax returns, which will be agreed with you before the Trust is created.
What type of Assets can be placed within the Trusts?
For the Family Home Protection Trust, only your property which you own and reside in is protected. In regards to the Estate Protection Trust, you can place your home and savings within the Trust. Any capital held outside a Trust could be taken for care costs; therefore, we would advise you to retain a nominal amount for day to day affairs. In other words, you should only leave outside of the Trust what you are prepared to lose if you go into care.
How much can I put in?
Both Trusts are not specifically designed to avoid Inheritance Tax, though this can still be achieved with clever planning. If Inheritance Tax is your primary concern, our expert team of Trust advisers will assist in assessing your estate. They will determine the most tax effective planning for you to consider. There are complex IHT rules surrounding the setting up of a Trust, which we would be happy to discuss with you. Please bear in mind that you must not put more than your lifetime allowance (currently set at £325,000) into the Family Protection Trust otherwise you will have to pay 20% IHT on the balance.
What if I have a mortgage?
This does not cause any problems or prevent the property being placed into the Trust.
Can other assets be added later?
Only with the Estate Protection Trust. The family Home Protection Trust simply protects the family home and nothing more. Please consider your circumstances when choosing the right plan for you; we will be happy to discuss your situation if you’re unsure.
When is the best time to set up a trust?
Yesterday! Trusts should be set up when you are fit and healthy, as unfortunately, none of us know what’s around the corner. It really is something that should be addressed as soon as possible, as tomorrow may be too late.
Can I move house?
Yes, as long as the majority of Trustees agree. You would simply move house in the usual way, except the deeds are signed by the Trustees rather than by you. The costs are the same.
Who gets my estate when I die?
Whoever you have left it to in your Will. We will help you to ensure that your Will is worded in a way that allows the trustees to follow your wishes to the letter with regards to your estate.
Why should I choose Four Seasons/Accord Legal Services Ltd?
We specialise in care costs protection for the elderly, and have gained a great deal of expertise in dealing with Trust affairs over the years. We’re dedicated to making sure your estate is protected, ensuring you and your loved ones get the most out of your Trust.