From the Wealth Protection Team
A reader wrote to us and asked: ‘Does a will outright a trust?’
By way of background information, she explained that her mother had established a trust during her lifetime and property had been transferred (ie. settled) into the trust. Our reader wants to know if her mother’s will (made after the trust was set up) would over-ride the terms of the trust?
This is a common query. It’s important to remember that a will and a trust are two completely separate succession planning devices relating to completely separate and distinct property interests.
A will covers the personal estate of the will-maker, whereas a trust is a device established by a settlor to place property outside their personal estate for the benefit of certain named beneficiaries.
Once property has been settled into a trust, it no longer forms part of the settlor’s personal estate and, as such, is no longer property governed by the settlor’s will. It is trust property, plain and simple, and is governed by the terms of the trust alone.
Can a will ever influence a trust?
There are a couple of limited exceptions where a will may impact or influence a trust:
So, the answer to this question is:
‘No, generally a will does not trump a trust. In fact, neither trumps the other – they each cover entirely different property interests.’
Do you have any questions about the structure of your Trust or how to put effective succession planning in place? Get in touch today: firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 04 970 3600