Life Interest Trust and assisted accommodation

I need some advice on a Trust I am being appointed as a Trustee for. It is a life interest trust set up in the will of H for the benefit of W. It places the entire estate into the trust to pay income to W for life. It also provides that the Trustees shall provide suitable accommodation for W. They had to sell the property to pay care fees for H and so the trust has been paying rent for W rather than purchasing another property as the trust wouldn’t be able to afford something in the area. W now needs to move into assisted accommodation and is under the care of social services and they have a deputyship order over her finances. They are asking what the trust will continue to pay. The trust only ends on death but given the assisted accommodation is recommended by social services and the usual reason for a life interest trust is to protect the capital from care costs - i am not sure what the trust should now be paying. Should they continue to pay the rent for assisted housing or should she now just receive the income from the trust fund? The trustees agreed to pay the rent previously to comply with the requirement to provide accommodation for life but I am not sure if this means that we should continue to provide this type of accommodation or what the situation will be if she moves into residential care in the future. Any guidance would be much appreciated.

It isn’t clear from your question whether the trustees are required to pay for suitable accommodation for W (out of trust capital if required) or whether the trustees merely have power to use capital for that purpose and have been requested to do so.

Even if the trustees have a duty to provide suitable accommodation, you would only be required to pay the costs of assisted housing to the extent these represent accommodation costs and not the costs of other services.

The cost of residential care can likewise be broken down into the cost of accommodation and the cost of other services. I would suggest you should not be under any duty to pay the latter.

Paul Davies
Clarke Willmott