How Couple Used Will Trust to Protect Estate From Care Costs

Ruth Wijay
Ruth Wijay
Head of Wills, Probate & Trusts

Colin and Lorraine were joint owners of a property valued at £600,000. They have two grown daughters and grandchildren. They wanted to make sure that their family would inherit their family home.

The combined total value of Colin and Lorraine’s Estate is £1 million, including the value of their home and all their savings. Because their Estate is so large, they understandably wanted to protect their assets, and already had Mirror Wills leaving everything to their daughters in equal shares.

They were worried however that when one of them died, the other may need to go into a care home. If their property had to be used to pay for the cost of their care, their daughters wouldn’t inherit much of their Estate. So, Colin got in touch with our Wills and Trusts Solicitors to see how we could help them protect their property.

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How we Helped

We looked into Colin and Lorraine’s situation to see how we could help them. We explained that many people who have Mirror Wills leave everything to their surviving partner and then their children, but if one of them died and the other needed to go into a care home, the Local Authority would assess their needs and finances. As their Estate was worth more than £23,250, they would have to pay for their own care fees.

This could cost up to £30,000 a year each and result in their children’s inheritance quickly dwindling away. We advised them both that the best way to protect their property was to put a Property Trust/Life Interest Trust in their Will.

Simpson Millar was very helpful, friendly and gave us all the information we needed in a clear and easy to understand way. They took the time to make sure that our Will accurately reflected what we wanted to happen to our Estate when we die. Thank you for making the process so easy for us; I recommend Simpson Millar. – Colin

The Outcome

This meant that they would each leave their share of the property to be placed in a trust in the event of the first death. The survivor would have the right to remain in the home for the remainder of their life, or until they were no longer able to remain in the property.

During the lifetime of the survivor, they would only own 50% of the property, meaning that if they needed fulltime care, only the 50% that they directly owned could be considered. The 50% of their family home held in trust would be ring-fenced, so that their children would inherit at least half of their property even if they had to pay for care in the future.

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