Protective Property Trust Will

Our story of John & Mabel.


Why have a Protective Property Trust in your will? Most  property owners are unaware that they hold their property as joint tenants which means that the separate owners do not have any divisible interest. This means that they both own 100% of the property. Therefore they cannot dispose of that 'share' by will, but instead  it passes to any surviving joint owner or owners by 'Right of Survivorship'.

So, in the normal course of things, John has worked very hard, lives in a very nice house and has four children, all hoping to go to university. He dies and leaves all his estate to his wife, Mabel, then all to his children after Mabel's death.

If John were to be told that this is in fact not a good idea, he will understandably need to know why.

Here's why 'all to Mabel' is a bad idea;


Protective Property Trust Will

Scenario 1; Mabel - now the proud  sole owner of a whole house after her husband's death -  might meet another  man Simon [and his children by a previous relationship] and marry him; if that relationship breaks down, Simon might claim a share in the house.

Scenario 2;  Simon might have been supporting Mabel financially, and in return asks to go onto the house deeds as 'security' for his input, married or not and therefore arranges to go onto the title deeds as a 'joint tenant' with Mabel; a week later, Mabel has a heart attack and dies; where will the house go ?

All to Simon. But, Mabel left the house in her will to her children. Makes no difference; Simon as a joint tenant with Mabel [deceased] gets, by right of survivorship, the whole house. Mabel's kids get nothing.

Simon's kids get the lot when Simon dies – or when he sells up !

Scenario 3; Mabel, an enterprising soul, starts her own business to make ends meet, and enjoys a fair degree of success and invests heavily in the business. Then suddenly the bottom drops out of the radio-controlled shopping trolley business, and her bank wants its secured loan repaid  immediately. Mabel has no money so her bank sells her house after racking up the legal fees and interest. When sold, Mabel and the  children have nowhere to live -  but she has £34.79 left in her bank account.

Scenario 4;  Mabel lives a long and happy life, then aged 67 she is taken into care because the social services decide she cannot look after herself. The social services &  local authority know she owns a house, so they sell it and the care bills are paid from the cash realised on the sale. At £1,500 per week, a lot of money can disappear very quickly; kids might be able to share what little is not paid to the care-home.

Scenario 5; Mabel is now on her own, although a bit scatty, the children all in nice jobs and looking forward to when their Mum dies so they can all pay off their mortgages and get a few buy-to-lets for their own children. Mabel sells the house and moves to a small bungalow in Eastbourne and she banks the remaining £360,000 which she uses for an occasional world cruise. One day, she gets a knock on the door – it is the tarmac, roofing gang from the caravan site down the road, or the man who has a sure-fire investment idea. By the time they finish with Mabel, she is light of £360k ; far fetched ?

No; this is one actual case among many hundreds.

There are many, many more examples.

Going back to the scenarios above, at the worst, with a Protective Property Trust Will, Mabel will lose only one half of the value of the property, because she only owns half of it.

Can Mabel sell up and move ? Yes; if the house is sold [say £400,000] then half of it is Mabel's absolutely, the other half belongs to the [ children's ] trust. Mabel can use her half to buy the bungalow, and bank the trust money – the account will be controlled by her trustees, usually the children - and she will be entitled to any interest that half earns; alternatively, she can use the trust money to buy the bungalow, and spend her half, but in this case, the bungalow will belong to the trust [i.e., the children]. Or she can buy the bungalow with the trust money and, say, half of her own, [total £300,000] so the trust will then own two-thirds of the bungalow.

So, if she were to go into care, the local authority can only use Mabel's share of the property and the rest of her cash.


This works whoever dies first, John or Mabel;

Both Mabel & John are advised to obtain Lasting Powers of Attorney, so, when frail, they do not have unlimited access to, or cannot be cheated of, all their savings; their children will be looking after it all – as well as the trust account. 

The same principles above apply to ANY jointly-held property;

It applies whether the joint owners are married or not;

It can apply to children and their parents;

By having a Protective Property Trust in your Will you can avoid all of the above!

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Protective Property Trust Milton Keynes

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