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Will Trusts – making sure you appoint the right trustees

So you’ve made a Will and decided to include a Will Trust as the best way to protect your assets for those you are leaving behind?

The next step is to choose your trustees and crucially, write a separate and detailed Letter of Wishes covering all realistic eventualities to go with your Will.

This is to make sure that what you want is on record and your trustees can use this as a guide to comply with the spirit of your wishes when it comes to exercising their powers to benefit your beneficiaries.

Choosing a trustee

When it comes to deciding who to appoint as trustees, there are a number of considerations.

In some cases, if the estate is complicated – for example, a farm or business which needs to be kept going until any children are old to take over or if family dynamics demand an independent party – then a professional trustee may be more appropriate. This is usually a solicitor or an accountant.

Most people choose two or three trusted individuals they have known for a long time who fully understand their wishes and can be relied upon to act sensibly.

Other important attributes for any trustees, who must be over 18 and cannot have a vested interest in the trust fund themselves, also include:

  • Being able to understand relevant financial advice and apply it when necessary;
  • An ability to work well with the beneficiaries in an open and direct way but also being prepared to defend the testator’s wishes if necessary;
  • Being conscientious and attentive to the running, including annual tax returns and accounts, of the trust.

There are a number of different types of trust but this is a complex area of the law and taking specialist advice is important to ensure that any trusts are set up and managed properly.

Please click here to see what we have written recently about considering different types of Will Trust.

Please contact Wards Solicitors’ Partner and specialist trusts adviser, Mary Harty, for more help and information.

 

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