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Protecting Your Property

30th April 2015

Legal experts are warning homeowners to protect their property for the benefit of others.

Although the general advice is to have an up to date Will that specifies where assets are to go on death, lawyers say property owners may feel it does not offer enough protection.

Family make-up is often complicated and disputes over property when someone dies are not uncommon. Homeowners may be faced with a situation where there are children from a second marriage, or they may simply wish that the assets they have worked for, such as the family home, be protected for the benefit of their chosen beneficiaries. In these situations, it is recommended people set up a trust during their lifetime into which their property can be placed.

Placing your property into trust should ensure that, ultimately, it passes to the people you want after your death, according to the terms of the trust. If you wish to benefit a surviving spouse and partner but also have children from a previous relationship that you would like to benefit, then the trust can be used to protect their intended inheritance.

Homeowners can be reassured that they would be allowed to remain living in the property that they put into trust and that, should they choose to move, the money can be used to purchase another property.  The use of a trust can, at times, have additional benefits in terms of the mitigation of care home fees for the elderly.

On your death, the house or the money from the trust would pass in accordance with the terms of the trust, rather than as part of your estate to be dealt with under your Will. This can often make the probate process less complicated and will hopefully avoid family disputes.