Effectively Building and Managing a Family Trust [Part One] Will, Trust or Will Trust?

When you work hard all your life to ensure a comfortable retirement and security/legacy for your family after you’re gone, you want your effort to be worthwhile. This means that you need to make suitable arrangements for your assets. A will is often the standard go-to approach when it comes to where your assets go, but a family trust can ensure that your wishes are followed as closely as possible, with a few key advantages which should definitely be considered.

Will, Trust or Will Trust?

The main difference between a will, will trust and a trust is that a will and a will trust will only come into effect upon the death of the individual. A trust has the advantage of taking immediate effect, meaning that assets can be organised and distributed at any point after it has been drawn up, whether before, on or after death.  A will trust is the same as a trust apart from it is effective only from the death of the settlor.

Another key difference is that wills are overseen by courts, and probate must be obtained before assets are distributed, which can take a significant amount of time. A trust does not need to be passed through probate, and assets can be distributed quickly, saving you time and money. 

A will in Jersey becomes a public document when it is admitted to probate and as such if confidentiality is important to you, a way of avoiding the contents of your will becoming public knowledge and at the same time providing a great deal of flexibility is to create a will relating to your worldwide moveable estate stating that you leave everything to the trustees of a trust established in your lifetime.

What are the Benefits of a Trust?

An advantage to trusts is that you retain a very strong influence over exactly who receives your assets and when through your letter of wishes. By putting your assets into a trust, they are effectively removed from your estate, which can have many benefits:

  • Family assets can be kept together to be preserved and enhanced for future generations
  • Beneficiaries too young or vulnerable to control their own assets are protected
  • A trust is a very flexible instrument meaning that as wishes change or beneficiaries personal circumstances change, the trust can adapt.
  • Family assets in trust may be able to be protected from the risk of loss, for example in their own divorces

The on-going nature of a trust means that assets are under the constant supervision of our qualified directors, who can examine your assets and circumstances and help you structure a trust that works in the best interests of you and your beneficiaries.

Once you have come to the decision that a trust would be the best option for you and your loved ones, a trust deed can be drawn up at any time you wish. At Alex Picot Trust, we have been looking after families’ assets for generations, and are renowned for our dedicated and personalised services. We work hard to ensure we can make arrangements that give you confidence and peace of mind that the people you love are taken care of.

If you would like to read the rest of the series on Effectively Building and Managing a Family Trust, please click on the links below.
Effectively Building and Managing a Family Trust [Part 2] 3 Things To Consider When Setting up a Family Trust

Effectively Building and Managing a Family Trust [Part 3] Drawing Up The Trust Documentation

Effectively Building and Managing a Family Trust [Part 4] Managing A Family Trust 

Effectively Building and Managing a Family Trust [Part 5] The Running of a Family Trust