KM01 wrote:Whilst the initial purpose of the Trust, when the Will was written, was IHT avoidance between married couples, which is no longer relevant (for the sum concerned), I understand that a Trust still has the advantage of protecting the sum from IHT in the future. After my mother’s death the funds would become part of her estate and, if not in a Trust, would be added to amount on which IHT is payable.
Whilst a trust may protect future IHT, it incurs an immediate IHT charge (that was the whole point of them - to use up the first deceased's nil rate band which became moot once the law was changed to allow any unused NRB to be transferred to their spouse) and significant future charges. I'm sure there are some circumstances where a trust still makes sense but it's unlikely to in a typical "maximise amount transferred to children whilst protecting spouse's income" scenario.
Obviously I can't advise you, but I would give strong consideration to using a deed of variation (can be done up to two years after his death) to amend your father's will to remove the trust and simply give his estate to your mother. You may well need professional advice to make sure it is right in your circumstances, but the cost of that advice would surely be a lot less than going down the trust route.