Life Interest Wills

I am in the process of drafting a “life interest” will for a couple who are married but both have children from previous marriages. The property where they live is jointly owned as tenants in common. They wish to leave a life interest to each other with residue going to their children. Wife’s 2 children are still living with them (16 and 21yrs) and the parent wishes that the children should continue living in the property until they are happy to leave home. Husband doesn’t feel comfortable with this as the children may continue living there rent free for a long time. He also wants them to pay their way in terms of food, council tax and general bills which I can put something in the Will. Wife wants to put an age stipulation for the children in the Will for them to live in the property in case the husband kicks them out of the property. I do not want to create a life interest for the children as the value of the house will be included in their estate for IHT.

If the clients say they are not concerned about IHT situation and i do leave life interest to the children , then what if they never want to leave home as it is rent free accommodation? I’m thinking Right of occupancy for 3 years once children reach the age of 18? Of course, the clients will review their Wills may be after every 3 years to see what the situation is with regards to the children’s ages.

Any thoughts would be very welcome.

Ruksana Kaskar
Hamilton Davies LLP