Co-Op Life Time Trusts

I just wondered if anyone had heard about/seen this?

Nicola Fox

No but there is no mention of any tax advantages, nor what the assets are protected from.

The only advantage they really claim is that distribution to beneficiaries is quicker than via probate, so I’m guessing that is it. No mention of the potential IHT on the trust assets, additional IHT account or costs of administration.

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP

Isn’t avoiding the need for probate the ‘window dressing’ reason sometimes seen when the real purpose of the arrangement is to avoid care home fees?

Paul Davies

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Quote from the web page:

“Without the Trust in place your loved ones may have to wait for almost a year before the assets are distributed, which could result in additional worry and stress.”


John Cartlidge
Campion Solicitors

Doesn’t say much for their Probate Admin Dept if that’s the case!

Karl Taylor
Parker Rhodes Hickmotts


How does it put them in control if they are not the trustees? Doesn’t mention that it prevents possibility of Equity Release in the future.

Prior to the last election when the Government were trying to introduce the scaled charges for Probate Court fees I posted on this forum to say this type of thing will be popular as means of avoiding the proposed fee.

There is another firm that has online videos saying how slow and costly Solicitors are and how this type of trust arrangement gets around this and many other issues.

With de-regulation comes more risk but will the customer really care?

Justin Wallace
Brewer Harding & Rowe

Justin, many clients won’t care as it is easy to spread such fear, usually be sales people, even though largely unfounded. When I’ve seen these type of arrangements, the issue with fees is pure fantasy, as these often cost a good deal more than a full estate administration to set up. The time frame issue is also nonsense as the Trustees will still have to sell the house, which is often one of the last assets to be dealt with an administration. Given a Will allows Exors to, in theory, start marketing the property from the date of death (albeit can’t complete), the time difference is, at best, negligible.

In general, the idea that giving away most/all of your assets during lifetime is a good idea is beyond me…only in a few cases, if at all, can this be a good thing.

Karl Taylor
Parker Rhodes Hickmotts

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I don’t know the Co-op product, but we are seeing an increasing number of trusts labelled “Asset Protection” or “Asset Preservation” promoted by will writing companies, solicitors and financial advisers. They seem to be a Marmite product which are either heavily pushed by those promoting them or actively shunned.

They are generally interest in possession trusts with the settlor holding the life interest in the assets. They aren’t meant to mitigate IHT, they are to “protect the assets”. Verbally they are sold on the back of protecting the assets from care fees, amongst other reasons which are largely there to defend the allegation of deprivation if challenged. The literature rarely mentions care fees for fear of providing evidence of deprivation, but ask most clients why they chose to create the trust and care fees features heavily.

As I said, I don’t know the Co-op product, so it may be something different.

Ian Dyall
Tilney Financial Planning Ltd

I can fully understand why the literature doesn’t mention care fee protection. If it were to do so it opens up the argument that this is the main reason for entering into the arrangement.

I think the strongest case for not entering into these arrangements is simply that your client retains control of what is happening and is not restricted in the future. I also make the point to clients that if they are successful in protecting assets in this way and do require care, the state will effectively decide what care they receive.

Justin Wallace
Brewer Harding & Rowe