Life interest wills and trusts
How does a life interest will work?
If you have remarried following a divorce or bereavement, and you have children from your previous marriage, it is possible to ensure the financial security of your current spouse whilst still protecting your children's eventual inheritance.
With a standard (non life interest) will, if you left your whole estate to your new partner, your assets would become theirs when you die. Thereafter, when they died those assets would form part of their own estate and would then be passed to their beneficiaries, who may be their own children, thus depriving your children of any inheritance.
This risk can be averted with a life interest will.
A good example of where this can be used is with the family home. You may own a property that you wish to leave to your children eventually, but still enable your current spouse or partner to live in it after you die.
With a life interest trust you can give your partner a life interest in the property, meaning that after your death they can live in the property until they die (or remarry if you wish), at which point the property passes to your children or other beneficiaries.
In this way you can protect both your partner for a period of time and your eventual intended beneficiaries.
What are the benefits of a life interest trust?
- You control the ultimate destination of your assets whilst still enabling your partner to benefit from those assets for a period of time
- Help to mitigate against possible future long term care fees - assets held in a life interest trust are ring fenced from your spouse’s assets and cannot be taken into account when assessing your partner for care home fees, thus protecting the assets.
- Protection against bankruptcy - assets held in the trust cannot be taken in the event of your spouse's bankruptcy as they have no right over the capital.
What types of assets can form part of a life interest trust?
- Cash – your spouse can benefit from the income generated by cash assets whilst the capital itself is protected by the trust.
Contact us for more information or to arrange a consultation.