Life peerages had been granted for centuries, usually to women, until the Life Peerage Act of 1958 allowed the regular creation of non-hereditary peerages. A life peerage offers all of the privileges of a hereditary degree to the recipient, including a seat in the House of Lords; the most significant differences being that hereditary Lords are now denied an automatic seat in the House of Lords and a Life Peer's title is not passed on to the recipient's descendants. The Life Peer's children are allowed the same courtesy form of address (The Honourable John Smith) as if their parent's peerage was hereditary. Almost all of the life peerages granted under the Act have been baronies.
Mr. William Smith is created baron for life. He is then know as Baron Smith (if there is already a Baron Smith, the new baron would choose a geographic addition to his title such as Baron Smith of Harrisport). William Smith would be addressed as Lord Smith (or Lord Smith of Harrisport).
Mrs. Jones is created baroness for life. She is then know as Baroness Jones (or Baroness Jones of Port Harris). She would be addressed as Lady Jones (or Lady Jones of Port Harris).
The children of each of the above peers will not inherit the title, they are properly addressed as "The Honourable Geoffrey Smith." for their own lifetime.