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Private Purpose Trusts Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Equity and Trusts Notes

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Revision: Equity



Trusts created for private purposes: anomalous exceptions


There are also public purpose trusts (Charitable trusts)

The Beneficiary principle


"Certainty of Object" - one of the three certainties, requires that the object be human or have a legal identity: the "beneficiary principle"


Morice v Bishop of Durham: 'there must be someone in whose favour the court can decree performance' o


Here the trust failed, as there were no ascertainable beneficiaries to enforce the trust

Re Astor's Settlement: The need for a beneficiary is due to the obligatory nature of the trust - if trustees are to be obligated, then there must be someone who can enforce their equitable right

Trusts without an ascertainable beneficiary


Re Astor's Settlement: Settlor established a discretionary trust for a variety of purposes - e.g. 'sympathy and co-operation between nations' - the court was unhappy with the concept of large sums of money being used for purposes over which the court had no control


Leahy v AG for New South Wales: trust for general religious purposes (abstract purpose - outside beneficiary principle)

Exceptions to the beneficiary principle for testamentary trusts


Instances where the beneficiary principle doesn't seem to exist and where a trust is permitted without a human beneficiary

The Re Endacott exceptions:

1. Trusts can be established for particular animals


Pettinghall v Pettinghall: trust of PS50 a year for the upkeep of the testator's favourite black mare


Re Dean: 'Maintenance of (my) horses and hounds'


Springfield: to ensure 'My Cat, Nicholas lives in the style of which he has become accustomed; his bed lined with my nightgown


Requirements: 1

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