A Home Protection Trust involves putting your residential property into a trust, held by trustees (usually children) for you (the settlor).
Whilst the trustees are the ‘owners’ of the property, the settlor has a guaranteed right of residence for the duration of their life. In no circumstances can the trustees evict the settlor.
Is a Home Protection Trust suitable for everyone?
There is no age limit or restriction in setting up a Home Protection Trust. However, they are usually better suited to those over 60 and in their last or last but one home.
Do I still have control over my property if I implement a Home Protection Trust?
Yes, whilst the property is legally owned by the trust, you are the beneficiary of the trust for life. You have a guaranteed right of residence and under no circumstances can the trustees evict you from the property during your lifetime.
You also retain the power to direct the trustees to sell your current property and purchase a new property of your choosing. In the event you purchase a more expensive property then advice should be sought.
What are the benefits of a Home Protection Trust?
Recognise the care provided by a loved one:
You can use the trust to provide an opportunity to formally recognise the contribution, love, care and/or sacrifice which a family member or other person has made for you without the risks involved with an outright gift.
Make sure your property is passed on:
You can have the pleasure of seeing arrangements put in place to pass your property to your children or other beneficiaries during your lifetime.
Know exactly where the property will pass on your death:
You can have peace of mind in knowing that your assets can be preserved and passed on to your chosen beneficiaries after your death. The beneficiaries and terms of your trust can be directed and approved by you and the trust will already be set up before you die.
Avoid delays on death:
You can ensure that your property can be sold or transferred without the need to obtain a Grant of Representation or without the need to have the lengthy wait for a Grant of Representation to be issued. The Trustees can sign all the paperwork to make the transaction smooth and straightforward.
Avoid potential claims after your death:
You can avoid problems and disputes relating to the distribution of assets on death. Claims against estates are on the rise so taking your property out of your estate can help avoid your property being caught up in any future litigation after your death.
Passing on the burden of owning a property:
You can feel reassured that any paperwork relating to property ownership will be dealt with by your trustees. This is hugely beneficial if your mental capacity becomes compromised.
Securing a place to live:
You can ensure that you are able to remain in your property for long as you wish. If you wish to relocate or downsize your property then you can. You are not restricted in any way.
Access to income payments:
If your property is sold or if you no longer live there, you are entitled to any income produced from any proceeds of sale or any rental income.
Your property will not personally belong to your trustees and it does not form part of their estates. You can be assured that the property will not be available to their creditors or any other claimants they may have against their estates in the future.
Can married couples implement a Home Protection Trust?
Yes, a Home Protection Trust is applicable to both married couples and single owners.
Why should I set up a Home Protection Trust rather than ‘gift’ my property?
There are a number of potential risks of gifting a property including:
- Bankruptcy or financial issues faced by your children, putting your property at risk
- Divorce or dissolution of civil partnership – In the event of a relationship breakdown, your property may become a consideration in the division of assets.
- Your child pre-deceases you – In the event that your child pre-deceases you, the property may pass to another beneficiary and not in line with your wishes
- Finance / Sale of Property – The property will be the asset of your children, enabling them to sell or raise finance against your home.
Whilst ‘gifting’ a property opens you up to each of these issues plus a number of other potential problems, a Home Protection Trust prevents such issues.
Whilst we have answered some of the frequently asked questions regarding Home Protection Trusts, it is vital that you seek specialist advice if you are considering putting a Trust in place.
If you would like to speak to a member of the team in relation to Home Protection Trusts and whether this would be appropriate for your personal circumstances, please contact Laura Bywater on 0161 615 5554, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via the ‘Chat Now’ tab.