Distribution timing after end of accumulation period


The accumulation period has ceased for a trust that I act for. The trustees are therefore required to distribute income, without the ability to accumulate this (which had been the case for much of the income arising to date). There are a number of beneficiaries.

Is there a generally accepted timescale for distribution?
Ordinarily, I would prepare annual accounts, and the undistributed income would then be fully distributed in the following year. This year though, we have an unusually high level of income due to a special dividend on an investment. The trustees would prefer to distribute this over say 2 to 3 years, to maximise the income tax recoverable by the beneficiaries.

I would appreciate any thoughts on this point.

Neil Groom
Whiting & Partners

(Andrew M Mortimer) #2

If there is no specific wording e.g. "within one year’ that says when
distributions have to be made then it is generally accepted that
distributions can be made as and when the trustees decide having regard to
their responsibilities to beneficiaries.

Have a look at Re Gulbenkian’s Settlement Trusts No.2 [1970] Ch 408 where
is was said “The trustees have a reasonable period in which to consider
what to do with the income, and this period depends on the facts of the

Andre M Mortimer