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The Advantages of Life Interest Wills: A Comprehensive Guide


In the realm of estate planning, life interest trusts play a crucial role. These trusts offer a powerful and versatile solution for safeguarding assets and ensuring financial security for your loved ones. At MDW Solicitors, we understand the importance of making informed decisions when planning for the future. In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of life interest wills, their advantages, and why people choose to create them.


What Are Life Interest Trusts?

Life interest trusts, also known as interest in possession trusts, are a specific type of trust written into your will. Their purpose is to strike a balance between the interests of your loved ones. Here’s how they work:


1 The Life Tenant

  • In a life interest trust, a particular beneficiary, known as the “life tenant”, receives specific rights.

  • Typically, the life tenant is the surviving spouse.

  • They have the legal right to:

  • Receive income generated by the trust’s assets.

  • Use property held within the trust during their lifetime.

2 Preserving Assets for Beneficiaries:

  • The life tenant enjoys the benefits of trust assets without outright ownership.

  • Upon the life tenant’s passing, the assets (the “life interest”) transfer to named beneficiaries (usually the children of the settlor).

3 Common Scenario: Property Life Interest Trust:

  • Imagine a house jointly owned by spouses.

  • The life interest trust ensures that the surviving spouse can continue living in the house.

  • However, the property ultimately passes to the original settlor’s beneficiaries (usually the children).

Advantages of Life Interest Trusts

1 Financial Security for the Surviving Spouse:

  • The surviving spouse can reside in the family home or benefit from trust assets during their lifetime.

  • This protection ensures their well-being without granting outright ownership.

  • Meanwhile, the children’s inheritance is preserved for the future.

2 Control Over Asset Distribution:

  • You decide where your assets ultimately go.

  • The life interest trust allows you to shape the destiny of your property.

3 Asset Protection:

  • Sideways disinheritance is avoided.

  • If you leave everything to your spouse, they could legally change their mind and leave the entire joint estate to other beneficiaries.

  • The trust prevents this by ring-fencing your share of the property.

4 Mitigation of Inheritance Tax (IHT):

  • Properly structured life interest trusts can help reduce IHT liability.

  • By preserving assets for beneficiaries, you optimize tax planning.

5 Protection Against Remarriage:

  • In second marriages, life interest trusts prevent unintended consequences.

  • The surviving spouse’s remarriage won’t jeopardize your chosen beneficiaries’ inheritance.

6 Flexibility in Trust Provisions:

  • Life interest trusts can be tailored to specific assets or your entire estate.

  • You have control over the terms and conditions.

Why Choose MDW Solicitors?

At MDW Solicitors, we stand out for several reasons:

Specialisation in Probate and Estate Matters:

  • Our team focuses on probate, wills, and estate planning.

  • Led by Debra Williamson, TEP (a highly experienced solicitor), we offer expertise tailored to your unique situation.

Expertise and Personalised Guidance:

  • Probate can be complex and emotional.

  • We provide compassionate support during this difficult time.

  • Our legal expertise ensures your interests are protected.


When it comes to life interest wills, MDW Solicitors is your trusted partner. We combine legal proficiency with empathy, ensuring your estate planning aligns with your family’s needs. Contact us today to discuss your specific requirements and secure your family’s future.

For expert legal advice and personalized services, reach out to MDW Solicitors at 01753 299466 or visit our website: www.mdwsolicitors.com

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