life interest


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

life interest

an interest in property, whether real or personal, conferring the right to the use of that property and the right to take the income or fruits or produce of that property for the period of the beneficiary's life. In English law, life interests, whether in realty or personalty, can exist only behind trusts. In Australia and New Zealand, while it remains technically possible to constitute legal life interests, the practice is for them to be made to take effect under a trust. The holder of a life interest is referred to as a life tenant; if a life tenant assigns his interest to a third party, that third party is said to have an interest pur autre vie.