A protective trust in a Will is becoming an increasingly popular option for many people who have family members with special requirements, complex financial arrangements and/or who are looking to ensure the integrity of their estate for future generations.

Protecting vulnerable beneficiaries

Putting a protective trust in your Will can greatly benefit your loved ones who cannot adequately look after their financial affairs. Protective testamentary trusts in your Will are one of the best ways to financially protect a vulnerable beneficiary.

Vulnerable beneficiaries include children who have a cognitive disability, addiction, are bankrupt or in danger of bankruptcy, or are otherwise vulnerable through being spendthrifts or easily influenced by others. In these instances, a protective trust can help ensure that they cannot easily spend through the estate. For instance, the control of the trust may be given to a trusted relative, but the income and capital of the trust can only be spent on the vulnerable beneficiary. This means that a regular income stream can be used to cover their costs rather than wholesale access to the entirety of resources.

How does a protective trust in my Will work?

If you have placed a protective trust in your Will for the benefit of a vulnerable beneficiary, your inheritance to them after you die will be held within that trust. The control of the trust will pass to the person or entity that you nominated (such as a relative, or a Trustee Company or even a co-controlled situation with that beneficiary).

The Trustee is required to prioritise the needs of that beneficiary when managing the trust fund to ensure that the funds are used for their care and maintenance and managed competently. Putting in place a protective trust in your Will provides a legally structured entity which is designed to protect the interests of the vulnerable beneficiary after your death.

You also have the power in your Will to specify who the residue of the trust fund proceeds go to after the vulnerable beneficiary passes away.

A Special Disability Trust for the vulnerable beneficiary may also be relevant to your situation.

Talk to the Experts

This is a sensitive and complex area where you need the full attention of an experienced estate planning lawyer to provide you with specialist advice and talk through the issues.

Estate First specialise in the area of protective trusts and special disability trusts and we have the patience to talk you through the issues and guide you on the best options to suit your individual situation. At our first consultation we will also provide you with a written fixed fee quote.

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    For further information on Protective Testamentary Trusts, see our Fact Sheet on Protective Testamentary Trusts in Wills

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