Trust information.

Be sure of your future plans, consider placing your life insurance plan in trust and help ensure that the proceeds are used as you intend.

What is a trust?

Simply speaking – a trust is a legal arrangement that allows you to give away your assets immediately, without losing your control.  

They can allow you to plan. You decide who’ll receive the proceeds of your life insurance policy, and they can remove the need for probate, so your loved ones benefit more quickly. Placing a life insurance plan in trust can also help protect against Inheritance Tax. 

Here’s a quick guide to some commonly used terms used when talking about trusts.


AssetAn item of value. An asset can range from a piece of jewellery to a life insurance policy. Also referred to as ‘property’.
PropertyProperty is an item of value. It can range from a piece of land to a life insurance policy. Also referred to as an ‘asset’.
ProbateA term commonly used when talking about applying for the right to deal with a deceased person's affairs.
SettlorThe person or people who creates a trust by a written trust declaration
BeneficiaryThe person, people or organisation, who receives benefit from the trust.
TrusteeThe person or people appointed to hold the trust assets and to be responsible for the management of a trust.
Inheritance Tax (IHT)IHT is usually paid on an estate when someone dies; it is also payable on trusts or gifts made during someone's lifetime. The tax is payable at 40% on the value over the nil rate band. The nil rate band will be frozen at £325,000 up to and including the tax year 2014/15.

*A reduced rate of IHT will apply for deaths that occur on or after 6 April 2012 where 10% or more of a deceased person's net estate (after deducting IHT exemptions, reliefs and nil rate band) is left to charity.  In such cases, the usual 40% rate will be reduced to 36%.  Legislation is due to be introduced in the Finance Act 2012.

IHT is a complex subject and varies from person to person, which is why we strongly recommend seeking advice from your legal adviser.

What are the pro’s and con’s of placing a policy in trust?


                                      Pro's                                    Con's
  • Control – you specify who your beneficiaries are and also retain control of your assets.
  • Probate - Immediate payment of the policy proceeds can usually be made on production of a death certificate.
  • Inheritance Tax - A policy benefit paid out on death is outside of your estate for IHT purposes.
  • Once the trust has been created it cannot usually be cancelled before it has served it's purpose. The settlor cannot cancel the policy without the permission of the trustees who are the owners of the policy.

Our Trusts

We provide a number of types of trust for our life insurance plans. You need to decide which trust is the most suitable for your needs. 

Our forms are downloadable, and we also provide a guide for each of the forms. We strongly recommend that you read these guides as well as our Your Trust Choices (PDF: 237KB) , which can be found on the right hand side of this page. 

We’re not qualified to give advice; so if you need more help about trust’s meeting your needs, you’ll need to take professional advice. You can also visit HM Revenue & Customs website

Critical Illness Cover

You can choose to add critical illness cover to any of our life insurance policies. This means the policy benefit would pay out on death or diagnosis of a critical illness (whichever comes first). 

Because our critical illness policies include life cover, this could have Inheritance Tax implications for some people. 

All trust forms are suitable for Life policies that include Critical Illness Cover, because they’re designed  as ‘split trusts’. In the event of a death claim, the benefit is paid in accordance with the trust. In the event of a critical illness claim, the benefit is paid to the policy owner. 

You can choose to gift the critical illness element too by signing the appropriate part of the form.

How do I set up a trust?

You can place new and existing policies in trust. We offer a number of different types of trust and you’ll need to decide which one is the most suitable for you.  The Your Trust Choices (PDF: 237KB) and individual guides will help. 

Each guide includes:

  • Information about the specific type of trust
  • Several explanations including trustees and beneficiaries
  • An Inheritance Tax overview; and
  • Help on how to complete the form. 

You’ll find all the forms and guides on the right hand side of this page. If you decide to use one, you must read the relevant guide before completing the form. You must make sure the trust you choose meets your needs, and should consider taking professional advice if you have any doubts.

If you’d prefer to have a form sent in the post you can contact us on 03700 10 40 80; or email us

Frequently asked questions
We have a list of frequently asked questions that may help with any queries you have.

Downloadable forms
You can access the trust forms and guides on the right hand side of this page. It's easy to download them, and the guides are really useful when it comes to completing the trust forms

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Confused by Trusts? Your questions answered.

We've developed a list of frequently asked questions that will help you when looking at the Trust information.

Existing customers

If you have questions about an existing policy, need a contact number or details of our claims process, you will find them in this section.

I need to make a claim

We aim to manage all of our claims with compassion and competence. To ensure we are able to do this our claims staff are trained by the Samaritans.