Q&As

Where an intestate's minor children are to inherit on statutory trusts, is it possible to vary the terms of those trusts (through court application), particularly with regard to the age contingency?

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Produced in partnership with Graham Stott of gunnercooke LLP
Published on LexisPSL on 10/04/2019

The following Private Client Q&A produced in partnership with Graham Stott of gunnercooke LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where an intestate's minor children are to inherit on statutory trusts, is it possible to vary the terms of those trusts (through court application), particularly with regard to the age contingency?

Where an intestate's minor children are to inherit on statutory trusts, is it possible to vary the terms of those trusts (through court application), particularly with regard to the age contingency?

In Bernstein v Jacobson, the court confirmed that an estate that is still being administered may be varied under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 (VTA 1958). It would be possible to apply to the court to vary the statutory legacies under the statutory trusts of an intestate estate under sections 46 and 47 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (AEA 1925) for persons who would benefit where those persons are minor, unborn or unascertained beneficiaries.

HMRC takes the view in IHTM35045 that a parent or a guardian is unable to effect a variation on behalf of a minor or an unborn beneficiary so may make an application to the court for approval under VTA 1958. HMRC will not consider a variation as accepted within section 142 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (IHTA 1984) until the conclusion of any enquiry on exploitation of IHTA 1984, s 142 has been satisfactorily concluded (see IHTM35091).

VTA 1958, s 1(1) provides as follows:

‘1 Jurisdiction of courts to vary trusts

(1) Where property, whether real or personal, is held on trusts arising, whether before or after the passing of this Act, under any will, settlement or other disposition, the

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