What is the best type of Will for you?

Louisa Shailes, Rogers and Norton


Most people know that making a Will is very important for both you and your family, but with the growing concerns surrounding the costs of later life care a simple mirror Will that leaves everything to each other may not be the right choice.

Unfortunately many couples aren’t aware of a potential trap that can significantly reduce the amount their children and grandchildren could inherit, but there is a growing trend for couples to be concerned about how they can preserve their wealth for their children and grandchildren when they die.

A Property Trust Will can be suitable for co-owners of a property (often husband and wife, or unmarried couples), and is used to ring-fence half the family home on the first death in a couple.

It protects half the home for the next generation from the threats of care fees and the effect of remarriage, both of which frequently see an inheritance pass somewhere it wasn’t intended to go.

When setting up a Property Trust Will, the legal title to the property is changed from joint tenants to what is known as tenants in common, this is a change at the Land Registry that allows each co-owner to decide where their half share of the property passes on their death.

This type of Will gives the surviving co-owner the use of the half of the house in trust for the entirety of their lifetime, ensuring they can continue to live in the property as if they owned it, they could even move house if they wished. Because half the house is in trust, it can’t be used to fund care fees, and can’t pass sideways to a new husband or wife—it’s protected for the next generation.

There is no “one size fits all” solution to any legal planning. It’s essential that the right solution is created for each personal situation – the need to seek specialist advice is crucial, failure to do so could cost both you and your family substantial sums of money as you get older.

If you think that you may benefit from a Property Trust Will then you should contact our knowledgeable and experienced Wills team, who can help advise you on the best ways to plan your personal circumstances.

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