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Family asset protection trusts - take care!

View profile for Anna Howat
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As they get older, most people are understandably keen to ensure that their home is not sold to pay care fees. They also want to protect their estate from inheritance tax, probate fees and claims from creditors or ex-spouses. Essentially, they wish to preserve their assets to ensure they can provide for their family when they die.

There is increasing interest in so called 'Family Asset Protection Trusts'. These trusts are sometimes offered by unregulated companies who can charge huge fees and have been known to pitch stands in garden centres and shopping malls to advertise their services. They claim to be expert advisers, whilst making various assurances about the advantages of trusts, that may not always be correct. They frequently claim that the person creating the trust will achieve various benefits whilst retaining complete control over their assets, but the reality will very much depend on each individual's personal circumstances.

What these companies do not always make clear is that transferring your assets into a trust will not necessarily protect them from being sold to pay care fees. You could also incur a tax liability and be giving up all of your rights to your assets and your home.

Transferring your assets into a trust is not always the best way to provide for your family when you die. Make sure you speak to a legally trained expert before taking any action, as it may not be possible to change your mind after the trust has been set up.

If you have already transferred your home into a trust and are worried that you did not receive appropriate advice at the time, then it is important that you speak to an expert as soon as possible.

If you are considering setting up a trust, or if you have already done so and you would like to discuss your options, please call me on 01780 750661, or ring any of our other offices and ask to speak to an adviser about a family asset protection trust.