Trustee of a bare trust - minor inherits at 18 - how can we delay this

I act as the trustee of a bare trust for a minor aged 15. The monies pertaining to the trust are made up of the proceeds of a life assurance policy which paid out to the policy trustees on the death of his father. The trustees will shortly pay the proceeds to me and the other trustee.

My concern is that the minor is very young and does not know how to manage money. He was home schooled until 14 and would not be able to hold on to his money when he is 18 for any length of time. For full disclosure, the deceased had looked to make a Will on his demise (which the life assurance policy would not have fallen into of course as it was held in trust under the life assurance policy terms) noting that his son should only inherit on attaining 21. The will was never executed so I suppose this is neither here nor there, though it is clear the deceased only wanted the minor to inherit from 21.

My concern is that the minor’s mother thinks of the money as her money. She has made this clear and I am concerned that when the minor attains 18, he will give the money to his mother who has indicated that she wants it for her retirement (she turns 60 this year and has not worked since the minor was born).

Is there any way we can protect the minor against this? For example, could I be deemed to have acted inconsistently with my obligations if, say, I invest the trust monies in a 5 year fixed bond once the minor attains 21 so that practically speaking he cannot access it until he is 21 (aside from (say) £20,000 which I leave in a high interest account for him in case he needs it)?

Another complication: the minor is my half-brother… and both me and my older (full) brother are the trustees.

Thank you all in advance for your assistance.

Christina Spencer
Healys LLP

Messaged by QW 23.19.19

I believe s.32 Trustee Act 1925 should apply to a bare trust (see the definition of “trust” and, I think, Lewin) and so you could make a Pilkington advance onto extended trusts for the minor. You need a good reason where the beneficiary would otherwise be absolutely entitled so be sure of your ground.

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP