Life Interest - in property for 2 years

I have a client who has left her estate between three children. She has given one a two year interest in the property at which point it is to sold and shared equally. The child who has been given a life interest has intimated he will not leave the property after the two year period. He is not been named as an executor.

Can he refuse to leave or can it be sold by executors i.e. his siblings? Alternatively, could the will be altered to ensure he has to leave and what would be the wording?

Paul Iveson
EMP Solutions Will Writers

Frankly I would be inclined to suggest that you advise your client to seek specialist advice as the wishes of your client are likely to cause unnecessary problems as well as IHT issues (although you do not say whether the estate is taxable) and probably a breakdown in relationships amongst the children.

Patrick Moroney
BWL solicitors

Can he refuse to leave - yes.
You need to ensure that if he refuses, the executors can evict him.
The purpose is all (see ss11-13 TLATA). Ideally the purpose would be included in the will (i.e. to give him time to find a new home then to sell) but if not, make sure it is evidenced elsewhere (attendance note, letter of wishes, clear circumstances). Subject to that, the majority view of the beneficiaries (2/3 beneficial interest) to sell should prevail.

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP