I would like to learn forum members’ views on the following scenario:
Mr X dies leaving a life interest in the marital home owned 50/50 to his second wife with remainder to his children from first marriage. Widow and remainder beneficiaries are trustees. Trust has very standard provisions stating that, if the life tenant requests it, the property can be sold and a replacement property purchased with the proceeds. Widow (in early 70s) wants to move to a McCarthy & Stone retirement property. It appears that M&S are now offering 999 year leases and it is possible for the trustees to own a share of the property. The remainder beneficiaries are concerned that retirement properties are difficult to sell and that resale values are not good and therefore investing in such a property may prejudice the remainder beneficiaries. Widow thinks her needs should be paramount although there is no clause in the Will stating that her needs should be put above those of other beneficiaries.
If you were a trustee, would you refuse to purchase the property?
Please note that I do have alternative ways of sorting out this problem, so don’t need to hear alternatives. I am just interested in what members think of the situation and whether retirement homes are suitable trust investments.
Blandy & Blandy LLP