Discretionary Trust | Mercer | Support | Personal | Zurich Insurance

Discretionary Trust

  • This is a flexible type of trust which includes a wide range of potential beneficiaries and allows you (the 'settlor') to add further beneficiaries after the trust has been set up.

  • The trustees decide which beneficiary(ies) will receive the plan proceeds and so your choice of trustees is extremely important - you should only choose people you can trust to carry out your wishes.

  • The trust deed requires you to name ‘default beneficiaries’ which helps to indicate to your trustees who you’d like to benefit from the plan proceeds but ultimately the trustees have full discretion (which is why it’s called a Discretionary Trust) and can make payment to any of the potential beneficiaries. If you require certainty then an Absolute Trust may be more suitable.

  • You cannot benefit from this type of trust and so it isn’t suitable for plans which include critical illness cover. That’s because you won’t be able to benefit from your critical illness cover.

  • The Discretionary Trust is suitable for single life and joint life second death plans only - not joint life first death plans.


Discretionary Trust Deed (323.31 KB/PDF)

Being a trustee - Your guide (61.27 KB/PDF)

Need help?

Completing the trust deed

For help to complete a trust deed, please call 0345 266 1046, or email zurich.customer.service@uk.zurich.com

However, we won’t be able to advise you which trust suits your personal circumstances, but we will be able to answer factual questions about the trusts themselves.

Looking for advice?

If you are unsure if putting your plan into trust is right for you, or you’re not sure which trust to choose, you should seek professional help from a solicitor or your financial adviser – you may have to pay for the advice you receive.

Got a question?

Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about putting a life insurance plan into trust.


What next?

Before you apply to place your new Zurich plan into trust, you should consider your circumstances carefully and make sure you have read and understood the details of your chosen trust.

Also don’t worry, there isn’t a rush to put your plan in trust. It’s an important decision you should consider carefully, and it’s a step you can take any time after your plan is set up.

It’s also important to complete the trust deed correctly as it will be a binding legal document and the benefits of the plan will no longer be yours, but the trusts. Don’t let this worry you though – we have a team of experts who can help ensure you follow the process correctly.