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Law Name: Course: Tutor: College: Date: Principles of Equity and Trust The concept of equity and trusts has been a controversial issue in the English law especially while dealing with complex issues that arise between trustees and beneficiaries. Trusts are legal bonds in which one person, the settlor, grants powers to another, the trustee, to act on his behalf, say after his death, to pass his properties to their rightful beneficiaries…
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Download file to see previous pages Often, the law is faced with tough decisions while determining the rightful beneficiaries, especially where the statements of the trusts are too general to define the benefactors of this bond. The principle of equity is applied for flexibility to ensure the will of the settlor is propagated and that the obligation of the trustee is accommodated. In this paper, we set our focus to one of the controversial cases in the history of the English law that has generated different reactions from different law analysts across the world. By evaluating the cumulative effect of the test laid down in McPhail v Doulton [1971] AC 424 as applied in Re Baden Trusts (No 2) [1973] Ch 9, it is possible to examine if there really exists any difference between discretionary trust and fiduciary powers. In McPhail v Doulton [1971] AC 424, Betram Baden, the owner of Mathew Hall & Co Ltd, held a discretionary obligation on behalf of his employees to settle the net income of the employee’s trust bond to their relatives and dependants. In this trust, the settlor allowed the trustee to choose to the best of his estimation the rightful beneficiaries of his property. ...
The executors of this trust required the court of appeal to assess if the words stated in the trust were actionable enough to validate the trust1. In this case, the three different judges ruled that the trust was valid since the beneficiaries of the trust could be ascertained by examining the “dependents” and the “relatives” whom the settlers had regarded as his beneficiaries. This trust established by Baden can be categorized as a discretionary considering the obligation of it grants to the trustee of determining who the beneficiaries of the trust are. In the English Law two distinct classes of trusts may be identified depending on the obligation or the power granted to the trustee. One of the trust schemes is the express trust in which the settlor leaves property and a list of the beneficiaries who are supposed to share the so left property. This trust is rigid and the obligation of the trustee is to share the property among only the members inside the list that is provided by the debtor. The second category of trust scheme is the discretionary trust in which the settler leaves property but does not provide any formal list of beneficiaries. In this case, the trustee is left with the responsibility of determining the beneficiaries of the trust, through his own discretion. According to Natasha, the flexibility that this kind of trust offers is accompanied with a hard task of determining the individuals who fall under the specified class of beneficiaries. 2 The argument of this author is that the fact that there exist no clear cut boundaries between different classes of beneficiaries, then it is a challenge for the trustee to select the specific beneficiaries. 1 Mohammed Rahmjohn, Texts, Materials on Equity and ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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