A Property Trust protects each person's share of their property, whilst ensuring that their spouse / partner is able to continue living in the property. On their spouse / partner's death, their share is then passed to whoever they choose to specifiy (the end beneficiaries).
The Trust will ensure, for example, that your children receive your share of the property, even if your spouse were to remarry, or go into a care home.
The share of the house belonging to the first to die is protected within the Trust, and protected for the end beneficiaries, even if the surviving spouse is liable for care home fees, which can then only be taken from their own share of the property value.
Children can often be cut out of a Will as a result of a surviving parent, or step-parent remarrying (this is known as Sideways Disinheritance). A surviving spouse may choose to change their Will. If they remarry without making a new Will, any existing Will would automatically revoked. Marriage revokes any former Will. A new spouse then becomes the primary beneficiary, which means they could inherit everything. If a new Will is made, to include the children as Beneficiaries, the new spouse can still make a claim against the Estate, or the assets of the first to die could be taken as a result of the survivor's divorce.
The Property Trust is especially popular and beneficial for a couple who have children from previous relationships and marriages.
Property Trusts provide a Life Interest to a survivor, which means the surviving partner has a right to, and can continue living in the home when the first spouse has passed away. This is especially, therefore, beneficial in situations where one spouse or partner owns the property solely, but wants the surviving spouse or partner to have the right to live in the property, whilst retaining the whole property within their own Estate, and therefore passed to their chosen beneficiaries, for example their own children.
Even if there are no children from previous relationships, a Property Trust will still be effective in preventing future sideways disinheritance or loss of inheritance as a result of care home fees.
It is worth noting that in all cases mentioned above, the surviving occupant does not necessarily need to be given a Life Interest, but instead, could for instance be given the right to live in the property for a certain number of years, or until remarriage.