Q&As

If the trustees of a discretionary trust execute a deed of appointment to transfer absolute beneficial interests to persons within the discretionary class of beneficiaries, can the trustees revoke that appointment if the deed of appointment does not specify that it is revocable, for example if one of the appointees dies shortly after the execution of the deed?

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Published on LexisPSL on 09/07/2021

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

  • If the trustees of a discretionary trust execute a deed of appointment to transfer absolute beneficial interests to persons within the discretionary class of beneficiaries, can the trustees revoke that appointment if the deed of appointment does not specify that it is revocable, for example if one of the appointees dies shortly after the execution of the deed?

If the trustees of a discretionary trust execute a deed of appointment to transfer absolute beneficial interests to persons within the discretionary class of beneficiaries, can the trustees revoke that appointment if the deed of appointment does not specify that it is revocable, for example if one of the appointees dies shortly after the execution of the deed?

This Q&A assumes that:

  1. the deed of appointment was validly executed

  2. the trust instrument gives the trustees the power to make an appointment which is revocable

If the trust instrument requires a deed to effect the exercise of a power of appointment, once such a deed of appointment is executed, it cannot be revoked unless it reserves a power of revocation, even if the instrument creating the power expressly authorises revocation. See Commentary: Need for express reservation of power: Halsbury's Laws of England (98) [589]

Therefore, if the deed of appointment which conferred an absolute beneficial

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