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How many trustees should sign a contract for it to be binding on all trustees? Does it make any difference if the trust is an occupational pension scheme?

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Published on LexisPSL on 02/02/2018

The following Private Client Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How many trustees should sign a contract for it to be binding on all trustees? Does it make any difference if the trust is an occupational pension scheme?

How many trustees should sign a contract for it to be binding on all trustees? Does it make any difference if the trust is an occupational pension scheme?

The basic rule is that, where there are two or more trustees, they must act jointly. This rule is a corollary of the rule that trustees cannot delegate their duties—a trustee cannot appoint a co-trustee to perform his duties for him. This rule can be relaxed by the terms of the trust deed or statute. Whether the trust deed in this case allows a majority of trustees to enter into a contract that binds all trustees, including those who did not sign it, will depend on the construction of terms of the trust deed.

See the case of Re Butlin's Settlement Trust which involved the rectification of a clause permitting majority action:

‘(i) Any of the powers and authorities

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