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Legal focus: Life Interest Trusts

A Life Interest Trust is, in its simplest form, an arrangement that is used to preserve your assets for the next generation whilst also providing for someone in the present.

Typically these are set up for instances such as a second marriage as this would enable you to provide for your new spouse on your death but ultimately pass your assets to your own children.

The beneficiaries, is what is know as the life tenant of the trust and has a right to the asset in the trust for the duration of their life, as well as any income from the trust.

Most commonly the main asset is a house, so a trust enables a surviving spouse to remain living in the property until their death, after which point the beneficiaries of your share of the property will be eligible for their share.

According to The Office For National Statistics (ONS) it is estimated that around 42 per cent of marriages end in divorce. With those figures in mind, a Life Interest Trust is especially useful as it ensures that your children are protected in the event of your spouse remarrying.

This is quite a common concern for clients as they are worried that the spouse from the second marriage may encourage the will to be changed and the beneficiaries altered. A life interest trust protects from such a situation arising.

For further advice or support with this and any other matters, contact Heptonstalls on 0800 917 8267 or visit www.heptonstalls.co.uk.

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