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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Life Policies: trusts of life policies: policy settled on its own trusts: life interest in favour of a beneficiary other than the settlor

If

  • the only property settled is a policy on the life of the settlor, and
  • a beneficiary other than the settlor is given a life interest, and
  • there is no clear indication that the beneficiary is not to receive any income produced during the settlor’s lifetime

the beneficiary should be regarded as having an interest in possession (IHTM16061) in the policy.

Under English law a beneficiary has an interest in possession in a policy if they have

  • a vested defeasible (IHTM16066) interest in possession, for example

    • an absolute interest in possession under a revocable appointment
    • an absolute interest in possession in default of the exercise of a power of appointment in favour of someone else
  • an absolute interest in possession defeasible if they fail to survive a given event or on the occurrence of a given event.

See examples at IHTM20154 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and IHTM20155 (Scotland).