1 trust or more?

I have been asked to assist on an estate where the grandchildren were left £10,000 subject to attaining 21. The relevant wording is:

“I give to my grandchildren living at my death … each the sum of £10,000 subject to each of them attaining the age of 21 years” (and then an accumulation/advancement of income power for the trustees).

There is no substitutionary element and it does not say equally/etc. My question is (setting aside any powers to wind up early) whether this has actually created a separate trust for each grandchild or one joint trust? My reading is that there are separate trusts.

I also fear that, if I am wrong and there is just one trust, if one of the grandchildren doesn’t attain 21 it seems from this wording that all of the gifts fail (which would undoubtedly be a drafting error subject to rectification).

I would appreciate any views/comments.

R Simpson
Thomas Simpson Solicitors

On the basis that £10,000 is given to “each” grandchild upon them (individually) attaining age 21, there is a separate trust for each individual. Should any fail to attain a vested interest in capital, their gift will fail and fall into residue.

Unless there are any other provisions adversely affecting these bequests, the failure of any one or more should not affect the others.

I believe that each will also be a separate “settlement” for income tax and CGT. Hopefully, residue is left absolutely, so that it is not adversely impacted by the existence of these other “settlements”.

Paul Saunders FCIB TEP

Independent Trust Consultant

Providing support and advice to fellow professionals