Hi there Clare,
He died in Essex, England in October 2012.
Two trusts have been set up, one for residual money once the bequeathed money had been paid out and one for the property. I will transcribe the most relevant statements from the Will:
6 a) i. "the Life Tenant" shall mean <my mother in law>
iv. "the Trust Fund" shall mean my property whether leasehold or freehold which I own from the date of my death and know as <mother-in-law's house she shared with her husband> free of any mortgage debt or charge secured thereon together with the furniture carpets curtains and other articles of household use or ornament therein not otherwise specifically gifted by my will or any codicil but if such property does not form part of my estate I give instead the property which I owned and last used as my principal residence before my death.
b) The Property Trustees shall pay the income of the Trust Fund to the Life Tenant for the Trust Period if the life tenant shall survive me by 30 days.
c) The Property Trustees may at any time or times during the Trust Period as to the whole or any part of the Trust Fund in which the Life Tenant has for the time being an interest in possession:
i. transfer or raise and pay the same to or for the absolute use or benefit of the Life Tenant or raise and pay or apply the same for the advancement or otherwise for the benefit of the Life Tenant in such a manner as the Property Trustees shall in their absolute discretion think fit.
ii. lend money or assets comprised in the Trust Fund to the Life Tenant on such terms (whether including provision for the payment of interest) as the Property Trustees think fit
iii. pay out of any proceeds of any sale of this property or any substituted property (purchased as a result of this sub clause) to purchase a freehold or leasehold property which will be held for the benefit of the Life Tenant on the same trusts to which this clause refers.
d) I declare that in exercising the powers conferred upon the Property Trustees in clause 6c above the Property Trustees shall be entitled to have regard solely to the interests of the Life Tenant and to disregard all other interests or potential interests under my Will.
e) Subject as above the Property Trustees shall permit the Life Tenant to occupy or use rent free any property or assets which or the beneficial interest in which is for the time being comprised in the Trust Fund subject to those conditions for the payment of outgoings insurance repair decoration and other matters as the Property Trustees shall from time to time consider reasonable.
f) Subject as above the Property Trustees shall hold the capital and income of the Trust Fund for <daughter 1 and her daughter> as shall survive me and if more than one in equal shares.
9 a) I give my Residuary Estate to my Trustees upon trust to pay the income to my wife <mother-in-law> for her life but contingently on her surviving me for 30 days and without becoming entitled to the income during that period except in the event and subject to that
b) Absolutely for such of my daughters <daughter 1 her daughter and daughter 2> as shall survive me and if more than one in equal shares
c) The Trustees may at any time or times as to the whole or any part of the property in which my wife <mother-in-law> has a life interest transfer or raise and pay the same to or for the absolute use or benefit of my wife or raise and pay or apply the same for the advancement or otherwise for the benefit of my wife in such manner as the Trustees shall in their absolute discretion think fit.
My mother-in-law has had a lot of pressure from daughter 1 and her daughter about the contents of the property (down to specific items of crockery). She has had so much hassle that she feels she must give them the contents now and replace with new furniture and contents by buying new items with her own savings. She hasn't received any income from any funds and has paid for the maintenance of the house also out of her savings.
Your guidance on her legal position would be gratefully received.