Trustees—power of advancement

The following Private Client practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Trustees—power of advancement
  • Statutory power or express power
  • Restrictions in section 32 of the Trustee Act 1925
  • Paid or applied
  • Advancement or benefit
  • Consent of person with prior interest
  • Early payments to be brought into account
  • Modifying the statutory power

Trustees—power of advancement

Where a beneficiary either:

  1. is a minor (ie under the age of 18) and unmarried or

  2. has attained majority or has married under that age but is required by the terms of the relevant trust to reach an age greater than 18 before attaining a vested interest in any part of the trust fund, then

the trustees are under a duty to manage the trust fund as to both income and capital until the beneficiary reaches the vesting age.

Statutory power or express power

A power of advancement may be either statutory, under section 32 of the Trustee Act 1925 (TA 1925) or express through provision in the trust instrument. It is a fiduciary and dispositive power, allowing a trustee to bring forward (advance) a beneficiary's entitlement under the trust.

TA 1925, s 32 will be implied into every trust, subject to being excluded by contrary intention and subject to some limited exclusions.

The statutory power used to provide that:

Trustees may at any time or times pay or apply any capital money subject to a trust, for the advancement or benefit, in such manner as they may, in their absolute discretion, think fit, of any person entitled to the capital of the trust property or of any share thereof, whether absolutely or contingently on his attaining any specified age or on the occurrence of any other event,

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