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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H01M19S

A will trust contains the following provision: "My Trustees shall hold my property on trust to permit my mother to live in the property for the remainder of her life and after her death to hold the property upon trust for such of my nephew and niece as survive my mother and attain the age of 21 years in equal shares." The nephew is now aged 20 years and the niece is aged 22 years. Which of the following statements best describes the beneficial interests in the trust fund?

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The mother has a vested interest because she has an immediate right to live in the property for the remainder of her life. This right is certain and not subject to any conditions. The nephew and niece have contingent interests because their interests are conditional upon them surviving the mother and, in the case of the nephew, attaining the age of 21. While the niece is already 22 years old and thus has satisfied the age condition, her interest is still contingent on her surviving the mother. The nephew’s interest is contingent on both surviving the mother and attaining the age of 21. 

Key Point: A vested interest is an immediate, unconditional right, whereas a contingent interest is dependent on the occurrence of a future event or condition. In this scenario, the life tenant (the mother) has a vested interest, while the remaindermen (the nephew and niece) have contingent interests until the conditions specified in the trust are met.

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