Online trusts - frequently asked questions

Your questions answered

There are many benefits to writing a plan in trust. You can now complete an online Business and Relevant Life Plan trust form without the need of 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 paper trust forms remain available for personal protection applications if you prefer.

Our online trust service will help you choose the correct trust for your client. All you need to do is answer a few questions about the plan(s) and your client(s) and our trust picker tool will let you know which one suits your client's needs. Before completing the trust form, you should check that it's the right one for you and your client.

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

Business Menu and Relevant Life Plan trusts must be in place prior to the plan starting.  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.

We'll send a copy of the trust to the plan owner and trustees in the post and will notify the trustees in writing that they've been appointed. You can also download a copy from your dashboard as part of the client pack.

We suggest they first have a conversation with the plan owner. If they still want to be removed, they should then complete a deed of appointment and retirement/removal of trustee and may need to appoint someone else in their place. The plan owner should contact us for the appropriate form to do this.

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.

A paper or PDF trust form should be completed for Business Menu and Relevant Life Plans if you choose not to complete the trust online as part of the application. This must be completed before the plan starts to avoid adverse tax consequences.  For all other plans, a paper trust form can be completed either at the same time as the application or at a later date. 

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.

As an alternative to using a trust, for Personal Menu plans your client can nominate a beneficiary to receive any payment after they die. This can be done during the application process. If your client's situation is straightforward and they know who they currently want to benefit, then beneficiary nomination is suitable.

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 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 Business and Relevant Life Plan signature free trusts.

You can find all our paper trust forms on our literature library.

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

ProtectionServicing@royallondon.com

Phone number 0345 609 4500.

This website is intended for financial advisers only and shouldn't be relied upon by any other person. If you are not an adviser please visit royallondon.com.

The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. The firm is on the Financial Services Register, registration number 117672. It provides life assurance and pensions. Registered in England and Wales number 99064. Registered office: 55 Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 0RL.