Life Interest Trusts
Life Interest Trusts are a very effective way of ensuring that should one half of a couple die and the surviving spouse go on to remarry that the deceased’s family inherit the family home, or at least half of it in the long run, sometimes referred to as a ‘Bloodline Will’. A Life Interest Trust can also be utilised to ensure that should the surviving spouse go onto need care that only half of the property can be assessed to fund this. This is a positive solution as it means that the surviving spouse can afford quality care, but the family will still inherit at least half of the property.
How does it work for couples?
In the case of a couple, Life Interest Trusts work by ensuring that the property is owned as tenants in common rather than jointly (we can assist with this). Mirror Wills are drafted with each person leaving their second level beneficiaries (often their children) their half of the property rather than each other. They include a Lift Interest Trust within the Will giving their partner or spouse the right to stay living in the property until the day they die, permanently leave the property or for a different specified timescale. The surviving spouse treats the property as though they own it in its entirety, for example, they can sell the property and buy another in its place and the Life Interest moves with them. The eventual beneficiaries have no rights or say over the property until the Trust ends
Life Interest Trusts can also be used by single people, for example if only one of you owns the property (which can be common in second marriages / relationships) and the owner wishes for their new partner or spouse to be able to stay in the home but wants to ensure their family are the eventual beneficiaries a Life Interest Trust would be put in place to reflect this with the family as the eventual beneficiaries.