Understanding Discretionary Trusts in a Will


In the realm of estate planning and asset protection, the concept of a “discretionary trust in a Will” holds significant importance. This sophisticated legal instrument empowers individuals to exercise control over the distribution of their assets even after they’ve passed away. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of discretionary trusts in a Will, providing valuable insights into their purpose, structure, and advantages.


FREE Will Writing Quote

FREE Will Writing Quote

FREE Will Writing Quote

FREE Will Writing Quote

FREE Will Writing Quote

  • Will Writing
  • Residential
  • Family
  • Personal Details
  • Personal Details

I would Like a Will For?

Choose One Of The Options In The Drop Down:

Your Residential Status

Choose One Of The Options In The Drop Down:

How Many Children Do You Have?

Choose One Of The Options In The Drop Down:

Your Details

Your Contact Details

our team of experts are here for you

What is a Discretionary Trust in a Will?

A discretionary trust in a Will, often referred to simply as a “discretionary trust,” is a legal arrangement established within a Last Will and Testament. This trust grants trustees the authority to manage and distribute assets to beneficiaries at their own discretion. Unlike other types of trusts, which have predetermined beneficiaries and distribution schedules, a discretionary trust offers flexibility and adaptability.

Key Components of a Discretionary Trust in a Will

1. Settlor

The settlor, also known as the grantor or testator, is the individual who creates the discretionary trust within their Will. They specify the trust’s terms and conditions, including the assets to be included and the beneficiaries to be considered.

2. Trustees

Trustees are entrusted with the responsibility of managing the discretionary trust. They have the authority to make decisions regarding the allocation of assets to beneficiaries based on their assessment of each beneficiary’s needs and circumstances. Typically, trustees are chosen for their financial acumen and ability to make impartial judgments.

3. Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries are the individuals or entities who may receive assets from the discretionary trust. Unlike other types of trusts, where beneficiaries are explicitly named, a discretionary trust allows trustees to determine who receives distributions, how much they receive, and when they receive it.

4. Discretionary Powers

One of the defining features of a discretionary trust in a Will is the discretionary powers granted to trustees. These powers include:

  • Deciding which beneficiaries receive distributions.
  • Determining the amount each beneficiary receives.
  • Establishing the timing of distributions.
  • Adapting to changing circumstances or unforeseen events.

We Will Help You Every Step Of The Way

Advantages of a Discretionary Trust in a Will

1. Asset Protection

A discretionary trust provides a robust layer of protection for assets held within it. Since beneficiaries do not have an automatic entitlement to the assets, these assets are shielded from creditors and legal claims.

2. Tax Efficiency

Properly structured discretionary trusts can offer tax advantages, helping to minimize the tax liabilities that may arise upon the settlor’s passing. This can ultimately result in more significant inheritances for beneficiaries.

3. Flexibility

The adaptability of discretionary trusts is a significant advantage. Trustees can respond to changing family dynamics, financial needs, and unforeseen events, ensuring that the trust remains relevant and effective over time.

4. Privacy

Unlike some other forms of estate planning, the details of a discretionary trust remain private. This confidentiality can be appealing to individuals who prefer to keep their financial affairs out of the public domain.



In the world of estate planning, a discretionary trust in a Will stands as a powerful tool for individuals seeking to protect their assets, minimize tax liabilities, and maintain control over their legacy. With its flexibility and ability to adapt to changing circumstances, it offers a comprehensive solution for those who wish to secure their family’s financial future. Consider consulting with legal experts to explore how a discretionary trust in your Will can benefit your specific circumstances and financial objective


How It Works

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

FREE Quote

No Obligation Consultation


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Cookie Policy for Trustmark Law

This is the Cookie Policy for Reliable Wills, accessible from https://trustmarklaw.co.uk

What Are Cookies

As is common practice with almost all professional websites this site uses cookies, which are tiny files that are downloaded to your computer, to improve your experience. This page describes what information they gather, how we use it and why we sometimes need to store these cookies. We will also share how you can prevent these cookies from being stored however this may downgrade or 'break' certain elements of the sites functionality.

For more general information on cookies see the Wikipedia article on HTTP Cookies.

How We Use Cookies

We use cookies for a variety of reasons detailed below. Unfortunately in most cases there are no industry standard options for disabling cookies without completely disabling the functionality and features they add to this site. It is recommended that you leave on all cookies if you are not sure whether you need them or not in case they are used to provide a service that you use.

Disabling Cookies

You can prevent the setting of cookies by adjusting the settings on your browser (see your browser Help for how to do this). Be aware that disabling cookies will affect the functionality of this and many other websites that you visit. Disabling cookies will usually result in also disabling certain functionality and features of the this site. Therefore it is recommended that you do not disable cookies.

The Cookies We Set

Third Party Cookies

In some special cases we also use cookies provided by trusted third parties. The following section details which third party cookies you might encounter through this site.

More Information

Hopefully that has clarified things for you and as was previously mentioned if there is something that you aren't sure whether you need or not it's usually safer to leave cookies enabled in case it does interact with one of the features you use on our site. This Cookies Policy was created with the help of the CookiePolicyGenerator.com

However if you are still looking for more information then you can contact us through one of our preferred contact methods: