20th December 2021

Liferent Trusts

What is a Liferent Trust?

These types of trust give the “liferenter” the right to benefit from property – usually by enjoying the use and/or income of the property – without them being the outright owner. A common example of this is where a house is transferred into a liferent trust by the “truster” for the benefit of their spouse or partner to enable them to live in the property rent free, while ensuring the ultimate ownership of the house passes to specified beneficiaries, perhaps their children.

Types of Liferent Trusts

These trusts can be created both during a truster’s lifetime or on their death by the provisions of their Will. These each have their own advantages.

Created in Lifetime

A lifetime liferent trust could be used where potential legal rights claim on the truster’s death is a concern.

They could also be used to protect assets for a vulnerable person, for someone that may be at risk of future bankruptcy, or for a disabled person who may otherwise risk losing means tested support.

Inheritance Tax planning may also result in the creation of a lifetime liferent trust.

Created in a Will

Liferent trusts created on death are more common. There, the trust provisions are worded into the will and have a number of potential benefits.

Where a couple have children with previous partners, a liferent trust could be created by their wills to give their partner the right to continue living in their shared home while ensuring their share of their home passes to their own children at the end of the day.

Where a couple own a home together, and are concerned about the cost of potential future care, it may be advantageous to make use of a liferent trust in their wills to protect their share of their home. This could offer protection over the assets held in trust if the surviving partner requires care after the first death.

Things to Consider

The trustees are a vital part of the trust; they are the ones responsible for the ongoing management and administration of the trust.

HMRC now require the registration of all trust with their Trust Registration Service. While the system is designed to be easy to use, professional assistance may be required.

While there may be tax advantages to a liferent trust, there may also be adverse tax consequences. Depending on the arrangement, the liferent could attract inheritance tax, income tax and/or capital gains tax.


If you are considering creating a liferent trust, either during your lifetime or in your will, please contact Blackadders for more information and advice tailored to your personal circumstances.

For any advice on Liferent Trusts please contact a member of the Blackaders Private Client Team working in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and across Scotland for help and advice.

Charlie Fletcher, Trainee Solicitor
Private Client
Blackadders LLP




The opinions expressed in this site are of the author(s) only and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Blackadders LLP.

Blackadders takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the content of this site is accurate and up to date. The site is not, however, intended as a substitute for seeking legal or other professional advice but rather as an informative guide to the services provided by Blackadders and topical legal developments. Site visitors should always seek advice tailored to their specific situation. Consequently, Blackadders accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by anyone acting or failing to act on the basis of information contained on this site. Downloading of material contained on this site is at the user’s own risk and all necessary virus checks must first be carried out by the user. Blackadders is not responsible for the material found on any web sites linked to this one and links to this site may only be made with Blackadders prior consent.


Blackadders owns the copyright in this blog and all material contained on it. The material on this site may be downloaded for personal use only and must not be altered. Otherwise, Blackadders’ written consent is required before any material on this site is reproduced, copied or transmitted in any way.

Privacy Statement

Information passed to us via this site is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties except if authorised by you or required by law.

© Blackadders LLP 2020

Members of the Law Society of Scotland.

Blackadders Solicitors is a trading name of Blackadders LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in Scotland No SO301600 whose registered office is 30 & 34 Reform Street, Dundee, DD1 1RJ. Reference to a ‘partner’ is to a member of Blackadders LLP.

Back to You & Your Family News