Trust with no provision for remaindermen.

I am dealing with a will which leaves an asset on trust and specifies that income from that asset should be paid to the Son for his life. There are no further provisions.

Does the trust come to an end on the death of the life tenant or can the right to income be passed on by will or intestacy?

Jeremy Crouch

I imagine the trust is valid and on the son’s death, the asset will pass into residue in accordance with the intestacy rules.

That could mean the son inheriting an immediate absolute interest in the proportion of the asset which accords with his share of residue.

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP

My first thought is: “Did the draftsperson erroneously leave out the gift over?”

I suggest the will instructions are obtained and reviewed.

In the absence of guidance from the will file, it is more likely that the remainder will pass to those entitled upon the intestacy of the deceased. If the son is the only possible beneficiary under intestacy, then the interests will merge into an absolute interest for the son.

However, if the son is only one of a number of beneficiaries who would be entitled under intestacy, then his proportionate share of the remainder will vest in him and his life interest in that proportion will be an absolute interest (and the rest of the trust fund will be subject to his life interest).

It might be the deceased intended his son to have the entire estate, but thought he could protect the capital by purportedly only giving the son the right to access the income. Whilst I have seen examples of this in a home-made will, it would be unlikely to appear in a professionally drawn will.

Paul Saunders