We always include Guardianship provisions within our Wills, however, by having a Children's Protective Trust in your Will, you can ensure that should something happen to you, your children will have responsible access to funds as they grow up, for education, living costs and holidays etc., until they reach a specified age (usually 18 - 25 years) when they can responsibly receive the full balance of your Estate.  

A Children's Protective Trust also protects bereaved children should they experience any difficulties, such as divorce,  drug or alcohol problems, whereby the balance is protected until any issues are resolved.  Within the Trust, your children also have access to State help without costs being financed by your Estate.  
One further advantage of a Children's Protective Trust is that even if the Mother or Father of your children has parental responsibility and is appointed as a Guardian, your money is still controlled by your Trustees, and will not fall into your ex-partner's hands. 


Children’s Protective Trust

A summary of your options:

 

If you have children, we recommend that you consider a Children’s Protective Trust be drawn up within your Will. This also includes a separate letter of wishes so that you can give guidance to the trustees regarding how it should operate. There is an additional charge for this option as it does involve additional legal work and many people don’t require this as their children are grown up or they do not have children.

 

With a Children’s Protective Trust

Without a Children’s Protective Trust

 

The Trust would be set up as part of probate.

 

 

A Trust would still be set up as part of probate.

 

You can appoint the trustees according to your wishes and judgement.

 

This can stop an unreliable or untrustworthy former partner from taking control of the assets.

 

 

Trustees will be appointed by the court; they may not be the people you would choose.

It is likely that the legal guardian will take control of the funds. This could be a previous partner or other person you may not want.

 

 

You can specify the age that the child receives and has full control of their inheritance.

 

 

You can still specify the age that the child receives and has full control of their inheritance.

 

The trustees have discretion to use the funds prior to the age specified in the best interests of the child.

 

 

If the court specifies, the inheritance can be used prior to the age specified - but this is not guaranteed and is not guided by your wishes.

 

 

The trustees can at their discretion release funds between the ages of 18 and the age specified when the child receives full control of their inheritance.

 

The monies would be ‘locked away’ between 18 and the specified age as there would no longer be a legal guardian. Access to money is not necessarily impossible but would require legal work and possibly court involvement. This could prove costly.

 

 

The trustees have freedom to act within the terms of the trust, without reference to the court.

 

 

The trustees can only act as authorised by the court.

 

You can give guidance to the trustees via a letter of wishes.

 

 

The testator cannot give guidance to the trustees via a letter of wishes.

 

The trustees have flexibility to delay an inheritance if the child is at risk of losing the inheritance due to addiction, impending divorce or impending bankruptcy, etc.

 

 

There is no such flexibility.

 

The Trustees can delay an inheritance, so that the child can claim state benefits or, for instance, to ensure that they get the maximum possible Student Loan.

 

 

The inheritance cannot be delayed for these purposes.

 

Your wishes are clear making disputes less likely and costs lower.

 

Costs could be higher and disputes more likely.

 

 

Note:   This is for guidance only. Please speak to your advisor or the legal team at Goodwills Legal services ltd for a more detailed explanation.