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Trusts and Estates Law and Tax Journal: January/February 2014

Geoffrey Shindler resolves to make the private client world a better place to practise

I understand that it is traditional at this time of the year to make what are known as resolutions. Not the type that trustees make or directors declare but rather those that form the hopes and aspirations for the coming year.

Forsters LLP

Robert Keylock assesses the implications of Mountstar (PTC) v Charity Commission for charity professionals

The Cup Trust caused a furore after the story broke in The Times in January 2013, and rightly so. Aggressive tax avoidance schemes are not novel material for the British press, but the exploitation of relief on charitable gifts made this scheme particularly newsworthy. It was described by Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee as a ‘disgusting’ abuse of Gift Aid. Aside the obvious concerns raised in relation to the Gift Aid regime, the Charity Commission’s initial response to the dealings of The Cup Trust and those involved with the tax avoidance scheme called into question the effectiveness, or perceived effectiveness, of the Charity Commission (the Commission) in safeguarding charitable trusts.

Anna Moore discusses the pros and cons of the recent HMRC consultation paper on the simplification of tax for trusts

The calculation of ‘periodic’ and ‘exit’ charges on property within ‘relevant property trusts’ is notoriously difficult, with not only strict requirements relating to the establishment and use of historic data but also complex calculation necessary to arrive at the eventual charge. While there are undoubtedly many professionals (and perhaps lay trustees) who are very comfortable with the current rules, there are some trusts where the requirements add costs and disproportionate complexity.

Oliver Hilton sets out the lessons from recent case HR Trustees v Wembley Plc

It is not uncommon for draftsman of trust instruments to provide for the execution of trust powers by some formal process, most usually, in the case of dispositive powers or powers of amendment to a trust instrument, by some form of signed writing. Unfortunately, there are occasions where these formal requirements are not met, either according to the strict letter of the terms of the relevant trust instrument or not at all.

Siân Hodgson finds Pinnock v Rochester settles the question of whether a 1975 claim excludes a further claim challenging the validity of the will

The question arose recently as to whether a claimant, having settled their claim against an estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the 1975 Act), was then able to challenge the validity of the will under which that estate devolved.

Sukhninder Panesar considers whether s57 of the Trustee Act 1925 extends beyond variation of the management functions of a trust

It is trite law that s57 of the Trustee Act 1925 allows the court to sanction variations from the terms of the trust in cases where it is ‘expedient’ to do so. The section governs the management and administrative functions of a trust and does not give the court a right to vary the beneficial interest of the beneficiaries. Section 57 has many similarities to the emergency jurisdiction which exists under the court’s inherent jurisdiction; however, the section is much wider as it covers expediency which is broader than emergency. The section provides: