What does it mean if I give someone a "life interest"
in my Estate?
If, say, you wish to ensure that your partner is adequately provided
for but feel you have a duty towards, say, children of an earlier
marriage, then you may wish to consider giving your partner a "life
interest" in your Estate. This restricts the partner's inheritance
to the income only of your monetary assets and the use of your home.
On the death of your partner the capital will pass to whoever you
have specified in your Will.
You should, however, bear in mind that unless
the Estate is fairly large, the income may be insufficient to support
your partner. The duties of the Executors and Trustees will also
be more onerous.
When considering a gift of a life interest, it is very important
to remember that the recipient does not own the property in your
Residuary Estate and cannot dispose of it in his or her Will. It
is important to remember that the prime duty of the Trustees is
to keep a fair balance between income for the person getting a life
interest and capital growth for those who will be ultimately entitled
to your Residuary Estate.