The Care of Children Act 2004 makes provision for a parent to appoint Testamentary Guardians for their children through their will. If both parents (or one parent in some situations) die without a Testamentary Guardian appointed, it will be a decision of the Courts to appoint a guardian for your children. There is no guarantee that your child/children will be appointed a Testamentary Guardian that you would have chosen yourself.
A beneficiary of a Trust does not have a right (as such) to information held by the Trust. Beneficiaries can request information from trustees, however, trustees can refuse to provide it in exercising their fiduciary duties. But what does that mean/what process do they have to go through in deciding whether or not to disclose information? If the new Trusts Bill is enacted, the law around disclosure of information to beneficiaries will be made clearer.
When a person dies without a Will, administration of the estate is more complicated than if the person had left one. Dying without a Will is called “dying intestate”. Due to the complex nature of dealing with an intestate estate, additional information is required throughout the process, which can cause significant delays in administering the estate. In many cases this will delay the distribution of the estate.
Despite increasing enquiries from clients as to whether trusts still work, the short answer is “yes”. But what are the reasons to keep one? Whatever the reason, it may no longer be relevant due to changes in the law, as well as your individual circumstances.