Estate Planning

Richard Johnson Safeguarding Assets

01900 85269 07745 225 491 TRUSTS

A highly effective way of ensuring property or investment assets are safeguarded for your intended beneficiaries is to make use of a Trust. They are not complicated to establish or require professional Trustees; they can be run solely by family members who themselves may well be the beneficiaries of the Trust.

To safeguard the total value of the family’s private residence a Lifetime Property Protection Trust can be established. This lifts the family home out of the proprietorship of the current owners and gives the property its own unique legal status. It is no longer in the estate of anyone. It sits in a 125-year Trust established by a Trust Deed. The guardians of the property are the Trustees who are usually the original owners and their children. The nominated beneficiaries are usually the children and their descendants. There is no ongoing administration or tax return required. Moving house is as normal; the new house is also held in Trust. The Trustees can decide when to end the Trust and liquidate the assets, often done after the original owners have passed away.

A Will can be written to also incorporate a Trust. There are a variety of such Trusts but often a couple will put into their Wills a ‘first death’ Trust which safeguards the assets that belonged to the first deceased from being lost to late in life expenses of their spouse or partner. The survivor remains the beneficiary of the Trust for the remainder of their life. Sometimes a person may wish to provide a sum of money for a specific purpose, perhaps to enhance the education and life experiences of a specific young person. This can be very effectively done through the use of a Discretionary Trust.

I advise on and provide estate planning documentation for people all over northern Cumbria. Full house Trusts, Wills of all types, Funeral Plans, Lasting Power of Attorney and Probate all provided by Co-op Legal Services, a company regulated by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority. I am based in the Vale of Lorton and I will visit you at home at your convenience.

Richard Johnson 01900 85269 or 07745 225 491

Richard Johnson Estate Planning Practitioner



I work on the second floor in the centre of town about a mile from the sea and some days, this time of year, I struggle to concentrate for watching the battles outside my windows.

There are three contenders for king of the rooftops: top of the pecking order are the herring gulls - they're the biggest and noisiest and afraid of no-one; not hesitating to dive bomb innocent commuters as we wait on the railway platform!

At the opposite end of the spectrum are the pigeons. These are scrawny feral pigeons; not the well-fed fearless type who clatter around rural gardens. They are scruffy, often maimed, but eking a living amongst the leftovers of the others. Did you know, that research has shown that pigeons are actually very intelligent? There is even evidence that these ‘rats on wings’ may be able to outwit some primates: think of the navigation skills of the homing pigeons from which most urban pigeons are descended.

Somewhere in the middle are the carrion crows; they're not big and brave enough to take on the gulls but they're definitely clever too: the corvids are rare amongst birds in that they can learn to use simple tools. These on the rooftops are bullies too: I watched one fly up from the street, walk along the gutter to oust a pair of pigeons from their nest in a hole in a parapet wall, steal a beak full of nesting material and carry on up to a chimney pot into which to he disappeared, presumably to build his own nest. The thought crossed my mind

that perhaps he stole an egg too - because they do; mostly they eat carrion and insects but will take eggs and baby birds if the opportunity presents itself.

Sadly, the gulls will also take the pigeons' eggs when they're ready and we humans (often in vain) put nets on our rooftops and plastic spikes on our windowsills in an attempt to stop them from nesting on the ledges and roofs. It's a wonder that they survive at all: we might think them vermin, but they do a great job of clearing up a great deal of the mess that we drop. Like rats, they have learned to adapt to pretty much any environment where humans live. That in itself takes intelligence.

Even those at the top of the pecking order don't start life that way; last year I watched a young herring gull learn to fly: He was walking along the ridge of one of the steepest roofs when he slipped and slid, flapping to little effect, all the way down. Bouncing over the gutter he tumbled for several heart- stopping moments towards the street. A little below first floor level his flapping finally paid off and he stopped the descent. Another over-confident bully in the making!

ISSUE 433 | 18 JULY 2019 | 33

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