Child maintenance payments obligation under consent order and IHT

Hello all

i hope someone has come across a similar situation before:

deceased died married to X leaving 4 children from previous marriage to XW.
No will in place, so dealing with intestacy with X as administrator, and whom i am advising.
consent order in place setting out reducing periodic payments eventually due to cease in 2032. C/o also requires deceased to have life policy in place to make sure obligations under c/o can be met.
life policy is in place, but not written in trust, so part of the estate for IHT purposes (and pretty much forms the bulk of the estate value)

By my calculation, the maintenance payments which the estate will have to honour under c/o add up to a total of around £154,000.

  1. Can this amount be treated as liability of the estate for IHT purposes?
    X proposes to set the sum aside to enable ongoing compliance with c/o by way of ongoing monthly payments as s et out in c/o
  2. following on from q 1, i am treating this as a liability at least for the purposes of calculating statutory legacies of spouse and children which are in my view separate. is this right?
  3. I am assuming for the time being, that the fact that the policy was never written in trust and is part of the estate, doesn’t negate the estate’s liability under the c/o

any shared experience and wisdom would be extremely welcome!

many thanks