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Discretionary Trusts

Trustees of a discretionary trust generally have 'discretion' about how to use the income of the trust. They may be required to use any income for the benefit of particular beneficiaries, but the trustees can decide:

  • how much is paid
  • to which beneficiary or class of beneficiaries payments are made
  • how often the payments are made
  • what, if any, conditions to impose on the recipients.

The trustees may, or may not, be allowed to 'accumulate' income within the trust for as long as the law allows rather than pass it to the beneficiaries. Income that has been accumulated becomes part of the capital of the trust.

Discretionary trusts are particularly suitable for:

  • bloodline planning – simply put, this is to ensure your assets reach your intended beneficiaries;
  • for disabled beneficiaries; we work with a number of charities, and have a learning disability specialist as part of our Specialist Team;
  • for bankrupt beneficiaries;
  • for those on benefits, to prevent loss of those benefits following a large inheritance;
  • for those divorcing - preventing assets falling into the hands of your child’s ex-husband or ex-wife following a divorce;
  • protecting assets from the clutches of local authorities to fund care home fees;
  • people with businesses who wish to temporarily park those assets while they decide what is to happen to the business following death; and
  • people that have suffered a personal injury and have received large damages payouts.

Learn more about Fixed Fee Trusts with our Trust FAQs.

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