A Trustee is someone that you appoint to preserve or look after the residue of your estate for the best interests of a beneficiary. The beneficiary may typically be a child where they are unable to receive their inheritance until the reach a certain age or where a spouse/partner has been granted a life interest, typically in a property or the receipt of income from some form of investment.
You do not have to appoint a solicitor, accountant or your bank to act as a Trustee. You can appoint anyone you like to be a Trustee to carry out these duties. Our advice is to choose someone that you trust implicitly to carry out this role. Have a statement within your Will that empowers the Trustee to appoint the services of any professionals if needed if they have not already been nominated within the Will.
The legal age of inheritance in Scotland is only 16. Life cover, death-in-service benefits, sale of residential property, sale or disposal of financial assets can and will leave substantial sums of money available to a 16 years old. In the event that a young beneficiary reaches that age that becomes their money to spend as they please. Now that situation is something that would probably fill most parents and grandparents with horror! A large financial inheritance but not having the maturity to make rational financial decisions. In short, a potential for disaster.
By setting up such a Trust means that you are able to control how much and when your children or grandchildren are to receive and when, which can be at any age between 16 to 25. This will give you that the peace of mind that your beneficiaries have to go through the Trustees nominated by and following instructions by you if they require access any part of your estate.
It further gives you the peace of mind that your estate and their inheritance will not be squandered but may be used for the things that you feel mat be beneficial or important to them such as a car, first property or deposit for one or educational fees for college or university.
Everyone is different people mature at different ages. It is for this reason that the Trustees have the built in flexibility to give the provision for the full inheritance if they deem this to be appropriate.
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