We’re a small accountancy practice. Occasionally, our clients will have a question on estate tax planning. Most of the time it’s pretty basic stuff but, the other day we met with a client who had a question we couldn’t answer concerning trusts.
They want to know if an executor can move estate assets into a trust without the consent of all the estate beneficiaries.
The question relates to their recently deceased father’s estate. The deceased was resident in England all their life.
Our client told us they were concerned the executor, also a beneficiary, wants to hold onto the property in the estate for a number of years before selling it. Our client wants the estate distributed as soon as possible as they want to invest the proceeds in their business. The estate mainly consists of one property in England, the father’s only residence, and about £100k in cash.
The will makes no mention of trusts. But, it does allow the executor to “let any property in my estate on such terms and conditions as will be in the best interest of my beneficiaries”.
The client is concerned this clause gives the executor scope to rent out the property from within a trust and avoid the Executor Year rule.