With today’s complicated family structures and high divorce rates (which are now up to 70% for second marriages, 50% for first marriages), a bloodline trust is one of the best ways to ensure that your assets follow your bloodline. It is a smart—and fully legal—way to ensure your grandchildren aren’t disinherited from what is rightfully theirs by a scheming ex-wife or ex-husband.
When people see the term “Bloodline Trust,” they’ll either raise their eyebrows because they’ve never heard of such a thing before, or they’ll question whether it is even legal. You don’t want to rob the proper authorities of their due when creating a will, of course. But since a bloodline will is legal, there is no real cause for concern. This sort of trust and/or will is a legal way to protect one’s assets and one’s family in the future.
What is a Bloodline Will and a Bloodline Trust?
At its most basic level, a bloodline will is simply a will that contains a trust. A trust is a legal entity that, by designation, allows someone to benefit from an asset without being the legal owner. The trust can protect everyone you specify in the will. For example, if a will puts a flat into a trust for nephew Bob and niece Mary, Bob cannot sell the flat. Most likely, he won’t even be able to borrow money against his share of it. This, of course, protects Mary.
Some people see a bloodline trust as a disadvantage, however. Beneficiaries can only use assets included in the trust for their support, maintenance, and health or education. Other people have no problem with this.
It is critically important that you have either had a solicitor draft or at least look over your intended will if you want to use a bloodline trust.
The common alternative to a bloodline will is that of a mirror will, where 2 people mirror each others will, typically used when parents want everything left to each other / their children.
Bloodline Wills and Care Fee Protection
It is understandable that when an older person makes the difficult decision to go into a care home, they wish to keep their home and other family assets. However, you cannot make a Bloodline Will or Bloodline Trust simply to avoid care fees. If a local authority finds you have done this, they will assess you for fees.
If your estate’s value is less than £23,250, the local authority will help you with care fees. If your estate is worth more than £23,250, you or your family will have to pay for your own care. So obviously, this is something that needs to be carefully handled and considered.
Templates/Examples of Bloodline Wills and Trusts
You can find templates and examples of bloodline wills and trusts online. By the same token, you can find instructions on setting one up yourself, but you need to be very careful. After all, you don’t want it to make a mistake with someone’s inheritance because you tried to do something yourself and got it wrong. Visiting a solicitor and having them draw up a will legally saves your family a tremendous amount of blood, sweat, and tears.
You can find a detailed legal guide and short samples of bloodline trusts here.
How Much Does a Bloodline Will Cost?
Fees vary tremendously. But every now and then, there are lower-cost initiatives that your family may be able to take advantage of. For example, twice a year in March and October, there is usually a “Free Wills Month.” This applies to specific parts of England and Wales.
There’s also something called “Will Aid,” which happens in November. Around 1,000 solicitors take part in this event. You would need to book a space in advance, as spaces are limited and it gets busy. There is a suggested minimum donation as this is for charity.
Apart from that, you will have to pay something when you engage a Solicitor to set up a bloodline trust or other complicated will. Services run a minimum of about £500 to £600. If you want to skip the cost, you can fill out a template, but it may not be the smartest way to go. Hiring a professional solicitor is the securest way to protect your family’s inheritance.
The Last Word on Bloodline Wills
Bloodline wills can solve a lot of problems for many people. It would definitely pay to have one drawn up professionally by a solicitor. It may cost extra, but it negates all the pitfalls of trying to do it yourself. If you intend to attempt a DIY version, make sure you are very careful filling it out. One word in the wrong place can mean one or more of your descendants get nothing at all from your estate. Caution will pay!