My client was widowed several years ago, and he misses his wife desperately. However, he has reached the stage in his life where he is comfortable and, as we say in Saddleworth ‘wants for nowt.’ He is moving briskly into his eighties, but he is fit and well and there no doubting his health is excellent for his age. He has decided it is time to make out his Will. I called at his house on a frosty February morning and after a mug of strong Yorkshire tea, so thick you can stand a spoon it, he set about telling me about his family.
His fifty-five year old spinster daughter was still living at home, to the dismay of his eldest son who thought it was about time she found her own home. As so often the case, there appeared to be little love lost between them. My client revealed that she is vulnerable because she has a secret gambling problem that only he knew about.
Later in the conversation, my client disclosed that his son’s marriage had been shaky for years and although he had never trusted his daughter in law, he did not have much faith his son would make a good choice for a new wife, even if he ever divorced the first one. He was, in his words, too busy becoming a successful business man.
I could sense this was going to be one of those straight-forward Wills that turns out to be not so straight-forward.
Being a true Saddleworth Yorkshire man, he told me he perished the thought that a single penny of his hard earned savings was going to anyone other than his son and daughter. Also, he was quite concerned that his brother and sister might be thinking they were going to inherit from his estate following a property deal in which he made a lot of money from selling a house purchased for market price from them about ten years ago.
His Will was simple, everything in equal share to the daughter and son.
However, we discussed how the Family Protection Trust is well placed to re-assure him that his wishes will secure his family’s future.
- It can ensure his daughter lives in the house without fear of being pressured by her brother to move out;
- It can ensure that his daughter’s cash share of the inheritance, which is about £50,000 can be retained in the Trust and distributed periodically so that she does do go crazy in the casino;
- It can ensure that the son’s share is held until after the divorce settlement, meaning that the untrustworthy daughter in law does not receive a share in a settlement;
- It ensures the son’s share is retained so that he does not inherit a tax problem. A quick calculation shows that the son’s estate is about £275,000 and whilst that is below the limit over which inheritance tax is payable, if he receives a hefty inheritance from his father, there is suddenly a tax problem for the son to sort out;
- If his executor’s are unable to act and decide to nominate professionals to administer probate, they could charge about £7,000 or more. With a Family Protection Trust the cost is zero.
- His brother and sister would be prevented from making a claim on the estate because the Trust is protecting the assets.
The client’s needs were simple, but with the Family Protection Trust in place, they are assured. Simple.