Trust Planning

Life Interest Trusts

When we speak with our clients, we find that in the majority of cases their over-riding concern is about protecting inheritance for their families in terms of cash, property and assets.

If you are married or in a civil partnership and one half of the couple passes away, there is always the chance that the other may, after time, begin a new relationship and perhaps enter into another marriage or civil partnership.

In reality, without trust planning, this makes inheritance complicated and parties should consider how this affects their own children, any children with their new partner as well as any children the deceased partner may have had.

When couples write their Wills, it is fairly common for them to instruct executors to pass any assets to their surviving partner until their death and thereafter any children from the relationship.

However, this doesn’t protect the inheritance of the children should the surviving partner re-marry and choose to disinherit them.

A life interest trust will ensure that these assets are protected regardless of the actions of the surviving partner.

A life interest trust in your Will ensures that the assets are safeguarded, preventing the surviving partner passing them to anyone else during their lifetime or indeed in their Will. It also allows the surviving partner to continue to enjoy the assets for his/her life.

With regard to the joint ownership of property, any property should be held as “tenants in common”. This is to ensure that on death of one partner, the deceased’s share can be held in trust whilst the remaining partner’s half is secured.

There are different ways in which the trust can be written to provide different solutions. For example, it can be written that the remaining partner can choose to live in the property until their death but surrender the trust should they wish to move house OR it can be written that they can sell and purchase another property using the funds retaining their life interest until their death.

We can advise on all options and if not already in place, we can arrange to change the ownership of property to “tenants in common”.

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