The successful outcome of a recent application to the High Court, in which partners of Hunters (led by Alexandra Sarkis) acted for all the parties involved, has been featured in the Trusts and Estates Law Journal.
The substance of the application was a request to the Court, under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958, to approve a scheme extending the lifetime of certain family trusts which were otherwise due to come to an end prematurely.
However, the particularly novel aspect of the case was the approach taken to certain beneficiaries whose likelihood of benefitting in the future from the trusts was considered to be remote, on account of being outside the ‘core’ family group.
In normal circumstances such beneficiaries would have had to have been joined as parties to the application, notwithstanding the relatively remote nature of their interests, or permanently excluded from benefit. In this case, however, the Court endorsed an approach whereby the beneficiaries in question were temporarily excluded by the Trustees, with the option of reinstating them once the application had been completed.
This unusual approach enabled a considerable saving of time, effort, and of course professional fees. The Court’s approval of this application has therefore been widely publicised, and warmly welcomed, within the profession.