Protect your estate with Will Trusts

Reinforce your wishes with Family and Property Trusts, enabling an extra layer of security and control within your Will.

Family & Property Trusts

What is a Will Trust?

A Will Trust, also known as a Testamentary Trust, is a legal arrangement within your Will where Trustees are made responsible for property or assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. This type of Trust takes effect when you pass away and can provide extra protection for your loved ones.

We offer various Property Protection Trusts and Family Trusts that can be tailored to the needs of your estate and can be discussed when making your Will.

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We are here to help

We guide you through the whole process of making your Family or Property Trust to make it as quick and simple as possible.


Step 1

Speak to our friendly team to arrange an appointment.


Step 2

Our highly trained experts will find out more about your specific circumstances and advise on the options available when we make your Will.


Step 3

If you wish to proceed, our legal team will prepare the necessary documents to complete your Family or Property Trust.

Why do I need a Will Trust?

Property Protection Trusts or Family Trusts within your Will can significantly benefit your Estate Planning, allowing for extra layers of protection and control. Ultimately, the type of Trust you may need depends on your specific circumstances and goals. We always aim to help you understand your options so that you can make an informed decision.

Here are some of the reasons you should consider including a Trust within your Will.

Safeguard vulnerable or disabled beneficiaries

You can leave directions for your Trustees to help manage an inheritance for disabled or vulnerable beneficiaries. For example, beneficiaries that need extra assistance or loved ones that struggle with addictions.

Protection from third parties or hostile creditors

Securing your share of the family home within a Trust can help to maintain control over care home fees if your spouse or partner loses capacity after you have passed. Also, if one of your beneficiaries is facing bankruptcy or divorce, holding their inheritance within a Property Trust can stop third parties from taking those assets.

Security for partners

Ensure your partner can continue living in your home without ever owning it. Instead, the property is managed by your Trustees on behalf of your intended beneficiaries.

Preserve your children's inheritance

If you leave your entire estate to your partner or spouse, they could remarry, and your assets may be directed elsewhere. Avoid sideways disinheritance and preserve your wishes by placing your children's inheritance in a Property Trust.

What type of Family & Property Trusts do we offer?

Property Protection Trust:

This Trust may be suitable for people who wish to protect some of the value of their home against the following:

  • Long-term care funding.
  • A surviving spouse or partner entering a new relationship or redirecting assets through their Will.
  • Children from a previous relationship missing out on their inheritance.

Typically, a couple will own their home as Joint Tenants, meaning the property will pass entirely to the survivor. Whilst this may seem like a comforting position, it does carry some risks. For example, if the survivor requires long-term care, the whole house may be taken into consideration. Additionally, should the surviving spouse enter a new relationship, their new partner may be able to make a claim against the full value of the property at the time of death or divorce, depriving your beneficiaries of some of their inheritance.

Another danger is that the surviving spouse will own the entire property, and they may change their Will at a later date. In doing so, they may disinherit any of your children from an earlier relationship.

There is an alternative way that a couple may own a property, known as Tenants in Common, whereby each person owns half of the property. This enables you to leave your share of the property within a Property Protection Trust, without adversely affecting the surviving partner.

Right to Occupy Trust or Right of Occupation Trust:

This Trust may be suitable for people that solely own their property and want their partner, adult children or anyone else living in their home to continue to do so after they pass.

A Right to Occupy Trust allows you to specify in your Will that upon your passing, a person of your choice will have the right to reside in your property for a period of time of your choosing. For example:

  • The rest of their life.
  • Until they remarry or cohabit.
  • Until you wish for your beneficiaries to inherit the property.

You can even permit them to move property. However, they will never own the house as it is managed by your Trustees and will ultimately be inherited by your chosen beneficiaries.

Vulnerable Person Trust or Disability Trust:

This Trust may be suitable for people that have beneficiaries where receiving an inheritance could disadvantage them or lead them to harm.

If one of your beneficiaries receives means-tested benefits, they risk losing their entitlement if their assets exceed a certain threshold. They would therefore have to use their inheritance to support themselves until they fall below the threshold and then reapply.

Furthermore, if one of your beneficiaries has an addiction, they may use their inheritance to fund their habit, which could be detrimental to their health.

These individuals can still benefit from your Will, but instead of receiving their assets directly, they go into a Vulnerable Person Trust or Disability Trust. Your chosen Trustees can then manage their inheritance, ensuring the funds are used appropriately.

Discretionary Trust:

This type of Trust may be suitable for people that don’t know who they want to inherit or want to give their loved ones the power to decide. You give your Trustees the ability to determine who, among a group of your chosen beneficiaries, will inherit, as well as the amount and timing of the distribution.

Discretionary Trusts are beneficial as they allow your Trustees to respond to changing or unforeseen circumstances, such as changes in your beneficiaries’ financial situations.

However, you may still want to guide your Trustees, which is typically achieved by including an Article of Wishes alongside your Will Trust. An Article of Wishes lets you outline conditions under which your beneficiaries should receive their assets, but your Trustees are under no legal obligation to follow the guidelines in your Article of Wishes.

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Will Trust vs Lifetime Trust?

Compare the different levels of protection and decide which is right for you.

Will Trusts

Protect property, assets and family after you pass away

Ideal for...

  • Allowing partners to continue living in your property without inheriting
  • Safeguarding vulnerable and disabled beneficiaries
  • Protecting different types of assets including property and money
  • Enhanced security when you pass away

Lifetime Trusts

Protect your family home during your lifetime

Ideal for...

  • Shielding against sideways disinheritance
  • Preserving control over care and Probate fees
  • Lifetime support and updates
  • Protecting your main residence
  • Enhanced security during your lifetime


A Trustee is an individual entrusted with the control and administration of property or assets held in a Trust, with the legal duty to manage it for the specified purposes.

Your Trustees can be the same people as your executors, and you should have at least two, but you can have up to four.

Anyone you would like, your partner, children, relatives, friends and even charities can all be beneficiaries of a Family or Property Trust.

Yes, a Trustee can be a beneficiary of your Family or Property Trust.

The Settlor is the person putting assets into the Trust.

In contrast to Joint Tenancy, where both parties share equal ownership of the entire property, Tenants in Common means the property owners possess different shares, usually 50/50. With Tenants in Common, the property does not automatically pass to the other owners and can be distributed within your Will.

To set up a Property Protection Trust, we use a Deed of Severance to change your ownership to Tenants in Common. You can sever tenancy without needing a mutual agreement between the owners.

Yes, we can transfer a share of the property using a Deed of Gift if there is a mortgage and a Transfer of Equity if there is no mortgage. Please note if you are not married, it is best to speak to a professional before transferring a share of your property.

Why choose ELM?

We are committed to protecting your loved ones and hard-earned assets by offering straightforward and cost-effective solutions to your needs.

With our legal team's experience in the Wills, Estate Planning, and Probate sectors, we have established ourselves as a trusted and leading provider of Will Writing services in the UK.

We are specialists

We are a specialist Will Writing, Probate & Trusts company. This is all that we do. As a result, we're able to provide the highest quality service possible - something that is reflected in our fantastic customer reviews.

Over 20+ years experience

ELM was established in 2000 and has been providing a professional and reliable service ever since. We are members of the Institute of Professional Will Writers and our in-house training development plan means all our employees achieve industry-recognised qualifications.

We have helped over 30,000 people

We have helped over 30,000 people to complete their Wills, leaving them safe in the knowledge that their family’s interests have been properly protected.

Free no-obligation enquiries

Because everyone's circumstances are different, we offer free no-obligation enquiries, ensuring you get a personalised service that meets your specific needs.

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