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A trust is a legal device for protecting assets and many wills can benefit from the inclusion of one type of trust or another. A 'life interest' trust would give income to one person (or group of people) and the capital to another person (or group); a 'discretionary' trust would allow the trustees (nominated by you) to distribute assets as they see fit.

Here are some of the benefits of using trusts in a will:

1. A disabled child inheriting a large sum outright would be disqualified from receiving state benefits; if the inheritance is paid into a trust, however, the trustees could release funds on a 'needs' basis, so that the child neither owns nor controls the money. Any state benefits would therefore not be at risk.

2. Leaving an inheritance to an irresponsible person, or someone with an addiction to gambling, alcohol or drugs, could be disastrous. By using a trust, you can ensure that your trustees (guided by your 'Letter of Wishes') would only release funds for essential purposes, e.g. health, education, food and clothing, so that the inheritance is not squandered.

3. Many people have concerns about 'sideways inheritance'; this could occur if, for instance, you have a child who marries the wrong person. Whatever your child has inherited from you could conceivably be at risk of passing out of your family, so a trust in your will would ensure that it passes to your grandchildren and stays in the bloodline, rather than disappearing 'sideways'.

Only by sitting down face-to face with you and conducting a full 'fact-find' can we possibly advise which trust, if any, is relevant to you.