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  • Caitlyn Lawlor

Explained: Family Protection Trusts

Updated: Feb 15

Here at Thomas Bradley Legal, we know that planning what will happen to your estate after you’re gone is not a simple or easy matter, that’s why we’re here to explain the Family Protection Trust element of estate planning and why it could be beneficial for you and your own circumstances.

What is a Family Protection Trust?

It is important for us to make clients aware that while you can make provisions for your assets in your Will, a Will does not offer complete protection over the assets described in it. A Will can be contested, and circumstances can change that could alter who has a claim to your estate, with a Family Protection Trust, you are given the ability to put your assets into Trust and grant an extra layer of security and protection to ensure that your wishes can be met after you’re gone.

A Family Protection Trust is a form of ‘lifetime discretionary trust’, which grants the power to decide when and how much a person will benefit from the assets of the Trust. The term used to describe a person who sets up a Trust is ‘settler’; the ‘settler’ is also usually one of the lead Trustees connected to the Trust. The Trustees are tasked with the administration of the assets within the Trust.

Whilst your assets are in Trust and as long as you have appointed yourself as a lead Trustee, you are able to continue to use your assets as you normally would, but also provide a level of protection and the ability for assets and investments to continue to increase in value as they would if they were not kept in Trust.

How does a Family Protection Trust work?

A Family Protection Trust is like buried treasure trove that only you have the treasure map to. You are able to access that treasure trove when you like. Just like a treasure trove, when you place your assets into your Trust – whether that be your house, your money or investments – you are still able to access and make use of them as you normally would.

Working alongside your Will, your Trust aims to provide complete protection for the assets involved. This makes it easier for you to remain in control and be able to update and amend as per your circumstances, whilst also providing comfort in the fact that there will very little to no administration required on the assets within your Trust once you pass away.

Will a Family Protection Trust protect my assets?

A Family Protection Trust can be used to help protect your assets from the various problems that arise in everyday life. You can use your Family Protection Trust to protect against problems such as tax liabilities and potential difficulties with personal relationships – for example, marital separation, co-habitation.

Are Family Protection Trusts a good idea?

Just like most things, Family Protection Trusts have their good and bad points, it is important to make sure that you are getting a Family Protection Trust for the right reasons. For example, one positive aspect of a Family Protection Trust, is that it can grant your spouse or partner the ability to reside in your home or make use of your assets for as long as they need to.

Another advantage to a Trust is that a Family Protection Trust offers the extra layer of protection against any contesting claims than a Will would and can save your loved ones the turmoil of contesting your wishes in court. Investing in a Family Protection Trust also provides a flexible and far more simple solution to estate planning than if you were to pass away without the safety of a Will or discretionary Trust.

If you would like more information on our Family Protection Trust services, or if you would like to make an appointment with one of our trusted advisors to discuss your estate planning options, contact us today on 0330 390 9200 or by emailing us at


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