Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Age of entitlement

Following last week's post some questions were raised about at what age a person can be entitled to receive benefits under a will.

The issues in this regard are a little more complex, however broadly:
  1. If a specific entitlement under a will passes to anyone under the age of 18, the trustee of the will effectively holds it for them on a bare trust until their 18th birthday. 
  2. If an age is nominated in the will for a beneficiary to receive their entitlement, it will be held on trust until that age, unless the will is not drafted correctly (there are some complex issues that can apply in this regard). If the will is not drafted correctly, then regardless of the age nominated, the beneficiary can get access to the gift on their 18th birthday. 
  3. Generally, none of the above rules are applicable where the asset passes to a testamentary trust – in this instance, the assets normally remain indefinitely within the trust structure, regardless of the age of the beneficiaries. 
Until next week.