Online trusts - frequently asked questions

Your questions answered

There are many benefits to writing a plan in trust. You can now complete an online trust for our Personal Menu, Business Menu and Relevant Life Plans, which means there's no need for an electronic or wet signature from your client or nominated trustees. This simplified process will save you time as it's integrated with our existing online service.

Our online trust service will automatically use the right type of trust to suit your client's policy. If you are completing a paper or PDF trust, our trust picker tool will let you know which one suits your client's needs. Before completing the trust form, you should check it's the right one for you and your client.

You can complete a signature free, online trust for our Personal Menu Plans, Business Menu Plans and Relevant Life Plans as part of the application journey. Paper trust forms are available for Diabetes Life Cover and Pegasus Whole of Life plans.

The following forms are also available as pdf and can be signed using a digital signature as long as this is done using a signing platform that provides a certificate of signing and this is sent in with the trust form.

  • Relevant Life Trust
  • Business Trust
  • Gift Trust Discretionary
  • Gift Trust (Jointly owned – survivor to benefit) Discretionary
  • Split Trust Discretionary
  • Split Trust (Jointly owned – survivor to benefit) Discretionary.

For Personal Menu applications, at present online trusts can only be set up where all plans on the application have the same plan owner and can, subsequently, be placed in the same trust. Where multiple trusts are required, these will need to be done using the paper or PDF options.

For Business Menu applications, plans which are owned by a third party, and as with most key person policies, cannot be written under trust. As such, the online trust option is only available where the life assured is also the plan owner.

For Personal Menu plans, you can send us a trust at any time before or after the plan has started. For Business Menu and Relevant Life Plans, you can opt out of the online option and send a paper trust at a later date, but the plan should not start until this is received. 

Yes, as with any part of our online applications, you can save and return to this at a later date at any point until the application has been submitted to us.  If you've opted to complete the online trust section you'll need to complete this in full before submitting the application to us.

As soon as you submit the application to us the trust will be in place. This ensures the plan is always under trust before it starts. If the plan doesn’t start immediately any free cover your client is eligible for will also be subject to the trust terms, making sure it's paid to the right people if there is a claim.

Your client (and the life assured if it's a Relevant Life Plan) will receive a copy of the trust online via their customer portal along with their policy schedule and welcome pack. We'll also write to each of the trustees to notify them that they have been appointed, and a copy of the trust will be included.

If a trustee doesn't want to be appointed, they can contact the Donor in order to arrange for them to be removed and replaced with another suitable trustee. Instructions for doing this will be included in the communication sent to the trustees at outset.

You can update the trustees on the online application at any point before you submit. Once the application has been submitted the trust is in place. To change the details you would either need to cancel the application and complete a new application if the plan hasn’t started or, ask the plan owner and trustees to complete a deed of appointment and retirement/removal of trustees if the plan has started.

If you have already completed and submitted your application and you wish to set up a trust then at this stage, a paper or PDF trust will need to be used.

Most trusts for pure protection plans that don’t have a surrender value do not need to be registered with HMRC when they are first set up. They would only need to be registered if there is a claim, the plan is surrendered, or the trust has a tax liability.

For claims on death, if the trustees pay the benefits out to a beneficiary within 2 years of the date of death, the trust doesn’t need to be registered. For all other claims, if the trustees instruct us to pay the benefit direct to a beneficiary, the trust doesn’t need to be registered. But if payment is made to the trustees, the trust must be registered within 90 days of the day the claim is paid, even if the trustees pay the benefit to a trustee within this period.

If the policy can acquire a surrender value, such as some older unit-linked whole of life plans, the trust doesn’t need to be registered until the policy is surrendered or there is a claim as above.

Nominating a beneficiary is an alternative option to a trust and in many cases can be a simpler and more efficient solution. It allows your client to nominate a beneficiary to receive any benefits of the policy if they die. Any benefits that pay out whilst they are still alive will still be paid to them. Like the online trust process, this can be set up online as part of the application. It's an ideal solution for single life policies where your client already knows who they would want to benefit from the policy.

For example, if your client wants the benefit to be paid to their spouse or partner, this is a simple way for them to make sure their payout goes to their nominated beneficiary, without the need for probate or the completion of a trust form. It's also flexible, they can change their nomination at any time simply by calling or writing to us.

For more complicated needs, jointly owned policies or inheritance tax planning you should still consider a trust.

Find out more about beneficiary nomination and when it can be used.

Find out more about our signature free process for Split Trusts for Personal Menu Plans, as well as Business Trusts and Relevant Life Plan trusts.

Please contact your case manager. If you don't know who your case manager is please contact Protection Servicing.