RRK Legal explain all in this blog!
A Right of Occupation (ROO) is a clause that can be included in a will to allow someone to reside at your property after your death. A ROO allows one to ensure someone that is living with them will not be made homeless if one passed away whilst they were still living there.
Why would a ROO be considered?
So, a ROO can be used in many different scenarios. Some of the scenarios are explored below:
- Mr and Mrs Smith
Mr and Mrs Smith own a property together and wish to leave the property to their children when they have both passed away. However, Mrs Smith’s mother also lives at the property with them since her husband passed away a few years prior.
Mr and Mrs Smith want their children to have the house when they pass away but want to ensure Mrs Smith’s mother has somewhere to live till she herself passes. Mr and Mrs Smith would include a ROO in their wills to ensure she could continue to live there if she outlived Mr and Mrs Smith. This means that the children of Mr and Mrs Smith could not force the sale of the property whilst their Nan is still alive and wants to continue living on the premises.
- Mr Johnson
Mr Johnson has 3 adult children who are all married and have children of their own. Unfortunately, Mr Johnson’s youngest son Chris, has separated from his wife and has moved in with Mr Johnson until he gets himself back on his feet.
Mr Johnson wants to leave his estate equally between the 3 children but may want to include a ROO in his will to ensure Chris has somewhere to stay if Mr Johnson passed away whilst Chris was still living in his property. In this scenario however, Mr Johnson may want to restrict the ROO to maybe 2 years rather than a Full-Life Residency as this should give Chris ample time to find alternative accommodation.
- Mr and Mrs Jones
Mr and Mrs Jones are married and have 2 children each from previous marriages.
Mr and Mrs Jones want to leave their individual shares of the property to their own respective children without hindering or creating difficulty for each other. A ROO could be used to simplify this situation too.
Mr Jones, for example, could leave his share of the property to his children on his death via a Trust and leave a ROO in the will to protect Mrs Jones too. This ROO would be for the entirety of Mrs Jones’ life so Mr Jones’ children could not force her to sell the house during her lifetime thereby providing a roof over Mrs Jones’ head for life.
Mr and Mrs Jones may also want to give each other a ‘Right to Substitute’ within the ROO in this scenario to allow the survivor to substitute this property for a different one if need be.
Things to consider when discussing a ROO
-Length of time for the ROO
-Would the ROO end if the occupier remarried?
-Would the ROO end if the occupier moved a new partner into the property?
-Would the ROO end if the occupier didn’t look after the property?
There are many things to consider when having your wills drafted. This is why it’s imperative you speak to someone who is experienced, knowledgeable and a specialist in this area of law.
RRK Legal provide specialist advice in the Midlands, Worcestershire, Staffordshire and beyond! Our consultants have decades of experience between them and have dealt with pretty much every scenario you could imagine!
Get in touch today!