Flexible Life Interest Trust

By | Inheritance, Legal, Property, Trustees, Wills | One Comment

Flexible Life Interest Trust  Due to more complex estates and greater wealth, greater flexibility is essential to cope with any future changes to the family structure (such as new family members) and changes in the tax regime. The best way to gain the maximum flexibility is by the use of a Flexible Life Interest Trust (FLIT). How a FLIT works The residue of the estate is held on trust for the surviving spouse or civil partner for their lifetime, after which or when the life interest is ended, a discretionary trust will arise in favour of nominated beneficiaries, usually children and issue. Trustees are given a number of powers. They can grant the income of the trust fund to the surviving spouse/civil partner and have the power to grant the capital of the trust fund to them as either absolutely or as a loan, which would be repaid when the…

Read More

Roles of executors and trustees

By | Executor, Inheritance, Legal, Trustees, Wills | 2 Comments

Who are trustees? A trustee is someone who is given legal responsibility to hold property in the best interest of or for the benefit of someone else (the beneficiaries). As the name implies, the trustee acts under a “trust” to do what is best and to act in the interests of the beneficiaries and not themselves. Number of trustees No more than 4 trustees can be appointed to act at once, however reserve trustees can be appointed. If the property of the trust includes land a minimum of 2 trustees must be appointed. Where a Trust is inserted within a Will in favour of a spouse (as a beneficiary) upon first death, it is almost always advisable that a MINIMUM of two other trustees be appointed to act jointly with the spouse. This is in order to prevent any conflict of interest due to the spouse acting as the sole…

Read More

Could Changes to the Taxation of Pilot Trusts Affect You?

By | Food for thought, Legal | One Comment

Following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement at the end of 2014, legislation is now going through parliament which aims to limit the use of ‘pilot’ trusts. Pilot trusts are an accepted form of Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning, commonly used to reduce the impact of the special IHT regime which applies to trusts, known as the ‘relevant property regime’. If a trust falls within the relevant property regime, the assets do not form part of the estates of any of the beneficiaries of the trust. Instead, there are potential charges to IHT when capital leaves the trust by way of outright distribution (an ‘exit’ charge) and on each tenth anniversary of the creation of the trust (a ‘periodic charge’). The calculation of these charges is complex but, broadly, they only apply to the extent that the trust fund exceeds the available nil rate band (currently a maximum of £325,000) at the time…

Read More