"Principal Beneficiary"

Does the “Principal Beneficiary” necessarily equate to the holder of an
Interest in Possession?

Julian Cohen, Solicitor

Not necessarily. It’s also usually a definition found in Discretionary Trusts making it obvious (more than is necessary, in my opinion) who the main intended beneficiary is “without fettering the Trustees’ discretion” of course!
Kamlesh Samji
KRS Estate Planning

Also see section 33 Trustee Act 1925 regarding “protective trusts for the benefit of any person (in this section called “the principal beneficiary”) for the period of his life or for any less period”.

Carlton Collister
landtax llp

In the absence of a definition within the trust instrument, I would treat the expression “Principal Beneficiary” as no more than an indication of the person whose interests the settlor would wish to be preferred by the trustees, in much the same way as might appear in a letter of wishes.

However, it may be that the person drafting the trust instrument has omitted the definition in error and a review of the instructions (if still available) might be helpful. If the definition has been omitted, an application for rectification may be required.

Paul Saunders

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