Trusts for spouses or civil partners

A trust for the protection of the spouse should be considered when making wills. From an inheritance tax perspective the availability of the transferable nil rate band lends itself to spouses and civil partners making simple wills leaving their estates to the other. However, such wills do not provide scope for capital protection in particular where there are children from a previous relationship, the surviving spouse remarries or moves into residential care.

Spouses and civil partners should, therefore, consider including a type of trust called a discretionary trust which provides maximum flexibility following the first death. The trust can be used to benefit the spouse/civil partner at any time after the first death but if the surviving spouse/civil partner later remarries the funds within the trust will be protected and remain available for the benefit of the children. Furthermore, if the surviving spouse/civil partner later moved into residential care the value of the trust’s assets would be disregarded so that only the spouse’s assets will be assessed for care home fee funding.

For anything further, one of our specialists would be delighted to meet you either in our office or in your own home to talk through your requirements and answer any questions. Please contact us at any time.