Life Interest Trust- Applying the Doctrine of Cy-près

Has anyone had any experience applying the doctrine of cy-près where the charity was in existence at the time of death but during the course of the estate administration has gone into administration?

The charity in question is entitled to a one third share of the deceased’s estate (subject to a previous life interest in favour of the deceased’s sister). The husband, who was left a limited right to reside in the deceased’s property, is looking to vary the Will to provide him with a full life interest in the property which the sister of the deceased and two other remaindermen charities have already agreed to.

The two trustees of the Will (husband and sister) have agreed on an alternative charity to carry out the intention of the deceased, however, the question is how and if the doctrine of cy-près can be applied on the basis that, whilst the charity named in the Will was in existence at the date of death, is now unable to carry out the charitable intention of the deceased now that it is in administration.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly received!

Katie Bell
Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Whilst it is not stated if the charity is incorporated, I suspect that Neuberger, J’s decision in Re ARMS (Multiple Sclerosis Research) Limited [1997] would apply equally to any situation where the charity was in existence when the entitlement vested which, in the present instance, I take to be the date of death of the testator.

Paul Saunders