Laceys Solicitors Laceys is a leading, forward-thinking law firm with specialist experts serving both individual and business clients across a broad spectrum of practice areas.

If Social Services have notified you about legal proceedings concerning your child please call 01202 377995.



adult hands (parents) protecting baby feet

Life Interest Trusts – helping protect your assets.

6th October 2016 by Kate Mansfield

Categories: What's New?
Tags: , , , ,

It is often the case for married couples, or couples in a registered civil partnership, to want to do a straight forward Will leaving everything to the survivor of them. By doing so the couple would have to accept that the survivor is then free to change their Will after the first death. There is no guarantee that if you have previously agreed who the ultimate beneficiaries will be, that those beneficiaries will actually receive what you intended.

There may be concern, for several reasons, that a straight forward Will might not fulfil all requirements. There might be concerns for a younger couple with children who appreciate that if one of them dies then the survivor may well remarry.  Understandably they might wish to protect the first to die’s assets to ensure that they pass to the children.

A couple may well divorce and re-marry and be concerned to protect their children from previous relationships.

Of course, each party will wish to still ensure the security of the survivor and it is for this reason that a Life Interest Trust can often provide the answer.  Rather than assets passing out right to the survivor, with the survivor then being free to dispose of them during their lifetime or by Will, the first to die’s assets could instead pass into a Life Interest Trust.

The survivor would be given a right to live in a property owned by the Trust, or to receive an income from any capital assets within the Trust.  In addition, it is possible to give the Trustees overriding powers to appoint out capital to the survivor in which case it would be sensible to have an Expression of Wishes guiding the Trustees in relation to the circumstances under which you would be happy with the survivor receiving capital.

The survivor may well wish to move and there would be no problem with this. The Trustees could sell the trust property and all or part of the proceeds could be used to purchase a substitute property for the survivor to live in.  Any capital released could then be invested to produce an income for the survivor.

You can therefore maintain the security of the survivor and provide flexibility should the survivor wish to move.

Ultimately, however, on the survivor’s death the survivor does not control those assets and instead those assets will revert to the first to die’s chosen beneficiaries.

Another reason for considering including a Life Interest Trust in your Wills is to try and protect assets should the survivor need care. If all of the assets are left to the survivor absolutely on the first death then all of those assets would be available to fund care. It may be that you wish to try and preserve some of the assets for the ultimate beneficiaries.

If you would like any further information on Life Interest Trusts, or any other matters relating to planning your future, please contact Kate Mansfield on 01202 755980 or email

Kate Mansfield

Partner — Private Client

Direct dial: 01202 377853


kate mansfield
  • “We have had the pleasure of Kate’s sensitive and unwavering professional support for a number of years. She has always been able to combine her deep expertise, with practical context and a tone of voice that gently escorts you through, often difficult decisions. We could not recommend Kate highly enough, both professionally and personally.”

    Simon Bennett

  • “Kate was extremely knowledgeable, straightforward to deal with as well as sympathetic during what was a difficult time. I felt in good hands!”

    Elisabeth Bonelli

  • “We were treated with respect and felt our wishes were taken in consideration. The patience shown in helping us understand the implications of decisions was outstanding.”

    Francesca Remix

  • “Very efficient and welcoming. Understood my access requirements and my unique concerns thoroughly.”

    Hannah Fielding (wheelchair user)

  • “Mrs Mansfield has been exemplary in every respect. She is an excellent listener and has the ability to explain complex issues patiently and emphatically. We are fortunate in having her as our legal adviser.”

    Neville Osrin

  • “Professional, always available for a phone enquiry. Always informed me as thing's progressed. Excellent company with very pleasant and helpful front of house. My sincere thanks.”

    Susan Dawn Godfrey

  • “Kate took the trouble to understand the particularities affecting my Will and found sensible ways of dealing with them.”

    Peter Andrews

Kate is head of our Private Client Team and has 25 years’ experience in private client work, specialising in wills, tax planning and estate administration. Kate has worked in this area since she qualified and has assisted thousands of families and individuals.

Kate qualified as a solicitor in 1995 after obtaining a 2.1 in Law from the University of Kent. She completed her training contract with Laceys and became a partner in 2002.

Kate is a full member of the Society of Estate and Trust Practitioners (STEP) and sat on the STEP committee for 6 years. She has also taught on the Legal Executives course at Bournemouth & Poole College.

Kate enjoys the personal side of the work and the satisfaction of assisting the bereaved and families with complex affairs, whether it be complex financial aspects or those where a diplomatic hand is required. She prides herself on being able to explain the legal position in plain English.

Out of the office she enjoys keeping fit. She enjoys going to the gym and getting out into the Dorset countryside on her road bike. Cooking, particularly baking, is also a passion.

Related articles

meeting with elderly couple

Paying Inheritance Tax – what you need to know.

For those dealing with someone’s estate after their death, the Inheritance Tax bill can come as a...

Read Article

signing a document with your signature

Looking to alter or end a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA is a document that gives legal authority to someone to...

Read Article

Close X