Family Trust over home

My client is the settlor of a family trust. It would appear that she did not understand this when she set it up in 2012.

She has placed her home into the trust. She is divorced. Her two daughter are the Trustees. The Beneficiaries are the settlor, the daughters and a whole list of family members including " great nieces alive at the time of the settlor’s death" for example. Subject to the trust fund the trust is for the two daughters.

The settlor has a life interest in the property.

The purpose of the trust was to avoid sideways disinheritance and to save on the probate process and cost.

The trust is irrevocable.

Within the Overriding Power of Appointment to Beneficiaries it states
“by deed or otherwise direct payment or application of any Trust Property for the education, maintenance or otherwise for the benefit of any of the Beneficiaries”

I would be grateful for your opinions on this matter :_

1/ Are there any advantages in leaving this trusts as is. They will still need probate due to 100K savings in the settlor’s name but I guess it could reduce probate fees

2/ Would you consider if the settlor needed care that it would be considered as deprivation of assets . It was completed 7 years ago and she is now 78 and in reasonable health.

3/ would you agree that the house could be appointed to the settlor ?

4/ If so would there be anything from a tax standpoint that we would have to be mindful of i.e. changing from the house being in trust to an appointment back to the settlor.

Thank you

Collette Hodkinson
CPH Solicitors