Protect your pampered pooch…May 24, 2021
Some people complain about having a dog’s life, but probably not if they were Lulu the border collie who lives in Tennessee.
Sadly, Lulu’s owner Bill Doris, passed away last year and under the terms of his will he left his beloved dog a $5 million trust fund to make sure that she was looked after into her dotage. You may think that Lulu will have gone on a spending spree and now owns a goldplated doghouse and diamond encrusted collar. However, the trust is been established in such a way to protect the funds and make sure Lulu isn’t too spoilt.
Lulu has been rehomed with Bill’s friend Martha Burton who already looked after Lulu when Bill was away on business. Lulu’s trust fund is controlled by the trustees to whom Martha can make applications for funds to look after Lulu. This is a great example of how a trust can be used effectively to make sure that a specific purpose is achieved, in this case caring for Lulu. Alongside this, it also ensures long-term protection of the assets for Lulu’s ongoing benefit and eventually for the funds pass on to the ultimate beneficiaries, such as an animal charity.
Although most of us won’t have $5 million to put into a trust fund the same can be achieved with far more modest sums. Wills can be drafted to include flexible provisions and trusts to allow for things like the care of a pet or providing funds to whoever looks after the pet to cover vet’s bills, food et cetera. The trust can also ensure that any funds left in the trust go where the deceased would have wanted them to.
These forms of trusts don’t just have to be used for pets and can be useful for trying to protect vulnerable beneficiaries. For many people, an inheritance will be the largest sum that they receive as a one-off payment in their lifetime. This can sometimes lead to a situation where the money is squandered or one where other people may take advantage. It can also be the case that the pressure and burden of managing large sums can be too much for an individual. A trust can be extremely helpful in these circumstances as it takes considerable pressure off the beneficiary.
The trustees can take over the management of the funds and act like a parent or guardian would in ensuring that the beneficiaries are well looked after. This can range from making sure that they have a regular income or a property to live in, or just taking away the worry regarding investing the funds and protecting their long-term future. Additionally, trusts can also be used to protect assets from divorce, bankruptcy or care home fees.
Although a trust may seem very complicated and only for the super-rich, that is not the case. A properly drafted trust, set up with good advice, can be an effective and efficient way of protecting your estate. So, whether you are looking to make sure your pet is cared for, a vulnerable beneficiary is protected or just to ensure that assets are not lost through a bankruptcy, divorce or care home fees, a trust is an option to consider.
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At Nash and Co our team has significant experience in advising clients on both the practical and legal aspects of trusts and we are happy to discuss your situation to see if this would be a suitable option for you.
Get in touch today and speak to one of our highly experienced lawyers. Give us a call on 01752 664444 or request a call back here.