Trustee power to appoint beneficiaries

I’m dealing with a Will Trust (now in operation following death of settlor), where there is no express provision in the Will for the Trustees (several trustees, all alive) to appoint additional potential beneficiaries, which they would like to do.

Trying to think of a statutory power or STEP standard provision to allow them to do this but not seeing anything, was hoping somebody may be able to think of something I am not (obvious thing that strikes me is that they have no power to do so because having that power automatically could lead to some fairly clear conflicts with wishes of settlor but would love to be wrong).


The only power I could think of would be the possible exercise of any power of advancement for the benefit of the current beneficiaries by way of varying the trust. You would want to ensure it remained the same settlement for CGT and you have to be clear on the benefit to the current beneficiaries - e.g. it allows them to fulfil their moral obligations to a child. It may well be sensible to run it past counsel.

No power to add unless document includes it ab initio. Outside VTA 1958 also. However depending on the identity of the intended new beneficiaries a “Pilkington advance” might be made under s32 TA.

The widest possible use of this power is to provide a benefit to a beneficiary’s family, which benefits the beneficiary as it relieves them of a duty to make their own provision for them

Some commentators are concerned that s32 cannot be used to create a DT. I think it can if the class is restricted to family (and perhaps, within sensible limits, charity if only as a default beneficiary:Re Clore’s Settlement Trusts [1966] 1 WLR 955) and it would be helpful if the document specifically allowed delegation of discretionary powers, as powers of appointment are often drafted. But if the present trustees are the first trustees of the DT this would not seem open to challenge,

Jack Harper

Thanks David and Jack, varying the Trust seems to be the idea that is making the most sense to me, the trustees would all be in agreement, though there is no express power given in the Deed to allow it, is that a problem as far as you know? There are no named minor beneficiaries, though there would be under the classes mentioned.