Royal London extends online trusts to Whole of Life

Published  11 March 2024
   2 min read
  • Online, signature-free trust process extended to Royal London’s Whole of Life (WOL) plans
  • Advisers can write plans under trust as part of the online application for Business Menu and Relevant Life, Personal Menu and now WOL
  • In an industry first, the new discretionary trust form includes cohabitees 

Mutual insurer Royal London has made further improvements to its digital services by extending its online, signature-free, trust into the Whole of Life (WOL) application journey.

Extending its signature-free trusts process to enable a plan to be placed in trust as part of the online application journey makes the process easier, more efficient, and, crucially, means advisers can complete the process in one go.

Selecting the right trust for clients can now be completed online for WOL, Business, Relevant Life Plans and Personal Menu Plans, removing the need for an electronic or wet signature from clients, trustees, or witnesses. 

New discretionary trust form

As well as the extension of online trusts, Royal London has launched a new discretionary trust form that is easier to administer and claim on.

Again, making things simpler for advisers, the new form replaces four existing discretionary trusts, combining them into one. This means the same form, whether online or paper, can be used for both joint and single life cases, with or without critical illness. The online journey doesn’t require signatures from customers, trustees or witnesses.

New features to improve customer outcomes and prevent foreseeable harm have been added. The most significant, and an industry first, is the addition of cohabitees as beneficiaries.

Trustee administration at claim has also been reduced by including payment direct to beneficiaries as a more prominent option, avoiding the need for trustees to register the trust if the claim is not for death, as well as speeding up payment to the bereaved.

Jennifer Gilchrist, protection specialist, Royal London, says:  

"Trust and beneficiary nomination developments are high on our agenda for digital enablement of advisers for new and existing customers. Having both solutions will help deliver the best outcomes for clients and their loved ones, especially when it comes to claims.

"This is particularly relevant to cohabitees, the fastest growing family unit in the UK*, who can be excluded from death benefits without the right planning in place. Including this group provides one of the broadest selection of beneficiaries in the market."

Ruth Gilbert, Insuring Change, says:

"Trusts and contractual beneficiary nomination are complementary solutions to the problems which life cover claimants can face if the direction of death benefits has been left to chance.

"It’s great to see Royal London put trusts on an equal footing to beneficiary nomination for ensuring cohabiting partners are not excluded."

For further information please contact:

Neil Cameron, PR Manager

Notes to editor

*ONS data reveals ‘Opposite-sex cohabiting couple’ was the fastest growing family type over the last 10 years.

About Royal London

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, and in the top 25 mutuals globally, with assets under management of £162 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and over 4,200 employees. Figures quoted are as at 31 December 2023. Learn more at