Deed - witness question

Hi All

I am looking at a life time settlement (life interest in property to settlor done many years ago in the hope of avoiding care fees).

The witness for the settlor (mum) and one of the trustees (son) is the son’s wife.

There is a life interest for mum with the default being to son absolutely. However the potential beneficiaries during the Trust Period are listed as :

"The Settlor, her children and their spouses "

Is this Deed void on the basis that the witness is the wife as a potential beneficiary?

Any guidance on this would be gratefully received.

Cassie Arbour
Rudlings Wakelam

No, I don’t think it is invalid, just foolish. The strict rules of wills don’t apply.

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP

Hi Cassie, strictly speaking when looking at trust deeds the witness does not need to be independent, unlike wills which require an independent witness. So the deed is not invalid .

Neil Jones
Canada Life

If valid the local authority will no doubt view it as deliberate deprivation of assets so that it would not work to avoid care fees

Vincent Oakley