Equity & Trusts

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  1. Jaffa v Taylor Gallery
    Transfer of legal title; chattels

    Title to chattels (technically known as choses in possession), such as jewellery or furniture, is passed by physical delivery of the asset to the transferee, or by a deed.

    An example of the latter method occurred in here, where the transfer of a picture to trustees was valid without physical delivery, as the deed setting up the trust vested title in them.

    One of the trustees lived in Northern Ireland and, as the judge commented, it would be absurd to require the painting to be physically taken round all the trustees before title passed.
  2. s53(1)(c) LPA 1925
    Disposition of equitable interest

    Requires disposition of equitable interest to be in writing.
  3. Milroy v Lord
    Gratuitously benefiting another

    Milroy LJ said the settlor (or donor) may benefit another in one of three ways:

    (a) outright gift to the donee;

    (b) transfer to trustees to hold on trust for the person to be benefited; or

    (c) declaration of self as trustee for the person to be benefited.


    Turner LJ states that ‘if the settlement is intended to be effectuated by one of the modes … the court will not give effect to it by applying another of those modes’.

    Thus if A failed to make a valid gift in favour of B, the court would not ‘save’ the gift by pretending that what he had really intended to do was to create a trust in her favour.

    The 'every effort' test

    Turner LJ said in order to render a voluntary settlement valid and effectual, the settlor must have done everything which, according to the nature of the property comprised in the settlement, was necessary to be done in order to transfer the property and render the settlement binding upon him.
  4. Requirements for a valid gift
    There are four conditions:

    (a) The donor must have the necessary mental capacity to make a gift.

    (b) The donor must have the intention, manifested by words or conduct, to make a gift.

    (c) The donor must ensure there is certainty of subject matter and objects.

    (d) The property must be transferred to the donee in the correct manner.
  5. Re Beaney
    Requirements for a valid gift; mental capacity

    This case illustrates that a higher degree of understanding is sometimes necessary. A mother who was suffering from senile dementia made a gift of her house, her only substantial asset, to one daughter. This had the effect of disinheriting her other two children.

    In these circumstances, the required degree of understanding was high, including being able to understand the claims of all potential donees. The mother was found not to have been capable of understanding this, and the gift was accordingly held void. It was the effect of the gift of her main asset which was crucial.
  6. Richards v Delbridge
    Valid transfer of gift

    Grandfather was the owner of a lease.  He attempted to transfer the lease to Grandson by writing on the back, ‘This deed and all thereto I give to [Grandson] from this time henceforth …’. This was not the correct way to transfer the lease. It should have been done by deed.

    It was argued that the ineffective gift should be regarded as a declaration of trust by Grandfather in Grandson’s favour. The Court of Appeal rejected this.

    As in Milroy v Lord, the court will not ‘save’ an invalid gift by categorising a failed gift as a successfully created trust. There can be no pretence that instead of trying to make a gift, the intended donor meant to create a trust in favour of the disappointed intended recipient. The latter cannot sue for the intended present.
  7. Re Rose
    Milroy v Lord; 'every effort test'

    On 30 March 1943, Mr Rose executed the appropriate form of transfer, transferring 10,000 shares in a company to his wife. He handed the transfer and share certificate to Mrs Rose. The documents were sent to the company, and Mrs Rose was registered as the new shareholder on 30 June 1943. Mr Rose subsequently died and the Inland Revenue claimed estate duty on the gift. If the date of the gift was before 10 April 1943, no duty was payable. When was the gift perfected?

    The court found that the gift was perfected on 30 March 1943, the date of the transfers, even though the legal title did not pass until Mrs Rose was registered as shareholder on 30 June 1943.

    • In equity it is held that a gift is complete as soon as the settlor or donor has done everything that the donor has to do, that is to say, as soon as the donee has within his control all those things necessary to
    • enable him, the donee, to complete his title.

    In the period between the transfers and the legal title passing, Mr Rose was holding the shares on trust for Mrs Rose under a constructive trust.
  8. Mascall v Mascall
    'Every effort' test (Milroy v Lord; Re Rose)

    The donor handed over a deed of transfer to the donee, which was sufficient to enable the donee to become registered as legal owner. The donor later, unsuccessfully, tried to change his mind.

    Equity will not come to the aid of a volunteer.
  9. Pennington v Waine
    'Every effort' test (Milroy v Lord; Re Rose)-

    In this case the Court of Appeal indicated that there may sometimes be circumstances in which, despite the fact that the transferor does not hand the transfer form and share certifi cate to the transferee, it would be unconscionable for the transferor to be able to retract the gift.

    Aunt Ada owned shares in a company. She informed P, a partner in the company’s auditors, that she wished to transfer 400 of her shares to her nephew, Harold. She signed a stock transfer form, sent it to P and P placed it on the company’s file. In a letter, P informed Harold that Ada wanted to transfer the shares to him and that no action was required on Harold’s part. Ada died. Was the gift complete in equity even though no documents had been delivered to Harold?

    It was held that the gift was complete in equity. The donor had done all that was necessary for her to do. In certain circumstances delivery of the documents was not necessary to perfect the gift. In this case Ada had intended to make an immediate gift, Harold had been informed and after a certain stage it would have been unconscionable for Ada to have recalled the gift. It followed that it would also have been unconscionable for Ada’s personal representatives to refuse to give Harold the share transfer after her death.
  10. Strong v Bird
    Exception to rule that 'equity will not perfect an imperfect gift'

    The rule applies on the death of the intended donor, the gift becomes a perfect gift, and the donee can claim the property in priority to those entitled to the rest of the estate which the donor has left on death, ie his heirs.

    For the rule to apply, the following four conditions must be met:

    (a) The donor intends to make an immediate gift to the donee, but the gift is invalid because he fails to comply with the appropriate formality for transferring the legal title to the relevant property. For instance, A intends to give a house to B, but does not fulfi l the necessary requirement of a deed in accordance with s 52 of the Law of Property Act 1925. Other examples might be the failure to complete a stock transfer form for company shares.

    (b) The intention must be to make an immediate gift, not one in the future. Thus in Re Freeland, a stated intention to give a car to a donee ‘as soon as I can get it on the road’ was not an immediate gift, and so the rule did not apply.

    (c) The intention to give must continue unchanged until the donor’s death. There must be evidence not only of an intention to make an immediate gift, but of an intention that continues up to the donor’s death. Put another way, when he died, the donor still had the intention, or belief, that the property should be treated as effectively having been given to the intended donee. If, in the meantime, the donor deals with the property in some way which suggests it is still owned by the donor, this will prevent the intention from continuing. For instance, in Re Gonin, a mother allegedly attempted to give a house and garden to her daughter, but failed to sign a deed. Subsequently, she sold part of the garden, thus indicating she still considered herself the owner. This (along with other factors) prevented the rule from applying.

    (d) The donor dies, and the ‘donee’ is appointed the donor’s executor or administrator (the donor’s personal representative). The legal title to the property vests in the ‘donee’, and the transfer of the legal title has at last been effected. The gift is now perfect.
  11. Choithram v Pagarani
    Creating a trust inter vivos (implied by words)

    Mr Pagarani purported to transfer ‘all his wealth’ by way of gift to the Choithram International Foundation. He owned shareholdings in various companies. Legal title to shares passes when the trustees are registered at the company, although equity regards the transfer as complete when the settlor has handed over the stock transfer forms and share certificates to the trustees.

    Mr Pagarani did not complete or hand over any stock transfer forms or share certificates. He just made an oral statement that he was giving all his wealth to the Foundation and orally instructed the companies’ accountant to transfer all his wealth in the companies. Mr Pagarani was one of the trustees of the Foundation. The judge at first instance held that the trust was incompletely constituted.

    Lord Browne-Wilkinson points out that the particular facts of the case do not fit ‘squarely’ within the normal methods of making a gift (Milroy v Lord etc).

    The Privy Council interpreted Mr Pagarani’s words of gift as meaning a transfer to the Foundation to hold on the trusts declared in the trust deed which Mr Pagarani had just executed.

    The Foundation had no separate existence; it just comprised a body of trustees and so this was the natural inference. Mr Pagarani had effectively declared himself a trustee of the property (declarations of trust over personalty can be oral). The fact that the shares were vested in him as trustee was sufficient to constitute the trust. He was one of the trustees of the Foundation and so the shares were vested in one of the trustees. He was under a duty to transfer them into the names of all the trustees. His conscience was affected as soon as he declared the gift and he could not subsequently resile from it.

    In summary there is an apparent gift being construed as a declaration of self as trustee, and, as the trust property was therefore vested in one of the Foundation’s trustees, there was a duty to transfer the shares to the other trustees.
  12. Requirements for a creation of a valid trust
    To create a valid trust the settlor must:

    (1) make a valid declaration of trust

    This declaration must observe the following requirements:

    (a) exhibit certainty of intention to create a trust, subject matter and objects (the three certainties)- Knight v Knight;

    (b) the beneficiary principle;

    (c) the rules against perpetuity; and

    (d) formalities for express declarations of trust.

    (2) ensure that the property is properly vested in the trustee(s) (‘constitution of the trust’).
  13. Paul v Constance
    Valid creation of trust; valid declaration of trust; the 3 certainties; certainty of intention

    Mr Constance, who lived with, but was not married to, Mrs Paul, received £950 compensation for an industrial injury. They went to the bank, intending to open a joint account for the money, but on the advice of the bank manager opened an account in Mr Constance’s sole name. The parties treated the account as their joint money, paying in their joint bingo winnings. Mr Constance stated frequently that ‘the money is as much yours as mine’.

    The court accepted that these words, together with the course of conduct in relation to the bank account, amounted to an express declaration of trust on Mr Constance’s part. There is no need to pinpoint one particular instance. When he died intestate, the bank account did not, therefore, pass under intestacy to his widow (whom he had not seen for many years) but was held on trust for Mrs Paul.
  14. Re Adams and Kensington Vestry
    Valid creation of trust; valid declaration of trust; the 3 certainties; certainty of intention

    This case held that no trust was created where the settlor used precatory words.

    Examples of such words would be a transfer of £1,000 to John ‘in full confidence’/‘hoping that’/‘believing that’/‘expecting that’ he will benefit the beneficiary.
  15. Palmer v Simmonds
    Valid creation of trust; valid declaration of trust; the 3 certainties; certainty of subject matter

    There is no indication of how much constitutes the ‘bulk’ of my estate and therefore the subject matter is uncertain.
  16. Re London Wine
    Valid creation of trust; valid declaration of trust; the 3 certainties; certainty of subject matter

    The buyers of wine stored in a warehouse but not segregated from the general stock of wine could not establish a trust as the subject matter was uncertain. The settlor had to   identify which chattels (out of his larger collection of chattels) he intended to form the subject matter of the trust.
  17. Hunter v Moss
    Valid creation of trust; valid declaration of trust; the 3 certainties; certainty of subject matter

    The owner of shares in a small company declared himself trustee for the benefit of a benefi ciary in respect of a 5% holding in the issued share capital (1,000 shares). He himself owned 950 shares. He did not try to indicate which 50 shares were to be the subject matter of the trust.

    The first instance judge distinguished Re London Wine because chattels, such as bottles of wine, are not identical, and so it is essential for the settlor to specify exactly which ones are intended to be subject to the trust. Shares of the same class in the same company, on the other hand, are indistinguishable from each other.

    Therefore, the settlor does not need to stipulate exactly which 50 he means. In the Court of Appeal, Dillon LJ did not take up this point and just said that Re London Wine was concerned with appropriation of chattels and when ownership passes, which, he said, was different from a declaration of trust.
  18. Re Lewis's of Leicester
    Valid creation of trust; valid declaration of trust; the 3 certainties; certainty of subject matter

    Lewis’s owned a department store and had granted licences of parts of its fl oor space to traders on a ‘shop within a shop’ basis. The traders paid their takings into Lewis’s tills and some of these takings were paid into a separate bank account in Lewis’s name. Lewis’s went into liquidation. The traders argued that the money in the bank account was held on trust for them and should not be available to Lewis’s creditors on the insolvency.

    Robert Walker J held that the traders were able to recover the money held in the bank account because there was a valid trust for them. The subject matter was certain because, by placing the money in a separate account, it had been segregated from Lewis’s other money.
  19. Mac-Jordan Construction
    Valid creation of trust; valid declaration of trust; the 3 certainties; certainty of subject matter

    Mac-Jordan agreed to carry out some building work for Brookmount. Brookmount paid for the work in instalments but, as is usual in a building contract, the contract allowed Brookmount to retain 3% of each instalment for a period to cover costs should the work turn out to be defective. The contract provided that the retained monies were to be held on trust for Mac-Jordan. Brookmount went on to retain over £100,000 but did not pay this money into a separate bank account. Brookmount went into liquidation. Was there a valid trust of the retained money for Mac-Jordan so that they were able to recover the money in priority to Brookmount’s creditors?

    Mac-Jordan was not as fortunate at Re Lewis's of Leicester. While there had been an intention to set up a trust of the retained money, this had not been accomplished because there was uncertainty of subject matter. The retention monies had not been segregated from Brookmount’s other funds. The key fact was that they had not been placed in a separate bank account.
  20. Re Golay
    Valid creation of trust; valid declaration of trust; the 3 certainties; certainty of subject matter

    The subject matter of a trust is certain if the settlor gives a workable formula for calculating the amount. Here, where a beneficiary was to be given a ‘reasonable income’, the court decided that this term was sufficiently objective to provide an ‘effective determinant’ to enable the court to decide how much income to give the beneficiary.

    The court would be guided by the level of the beneficiary’s previous income. It is very unlikely that a gift of capital, eg ‘a reasonable legacy’, would be valid.
  21. The rules against perpetuity
    Valid creation of trust; valid declaration of trust; the rules against perpetuity

    a)  Rule against remoteness of vesting.

    This rule is relevant to contingent interests. A contingent interest is void unless it vests within ‘the perpetuity period’. This is governed by the Perpetuities and Accumulations Act 1964. Under this Act the trust instrument may specify a perpetuity period of up to 80 years.

    The main practical application of this is that discretionary trusts, where the trustees have a power to choose which from a class of benefi ciaries is to benefit, are limited to lasting for 80 years.  The Perpetuities and Accumulations Act 2009, which came into force on 1 April 2010, permits a 125-year perpetuity period.

    This longer period applies to wills which were executed and came into effect on or after that date, and for (non-will) trusts which came into effect on or after that date. There is no need to consider this rule further.

    (b) Rule against inalienability.  This applies to trusts for non-charitable purposes. A trust for non-charitable purposes will be void from the outset if the trust capital is not freely alienable within the perpetuity period.
  22. s53(1)(b) LPA 1925
    Valid creation of trust; valid declaration of trust; formalities for declaration of trust

    For a declaration of trust over land to satisfy s53(1)(b), it must fulfil two requirements:

    (a) First, it has to be evidenced in writing. The declaration itself can be written or the declaration can be oral and confirmed in writing.

    For example, s 53(1)(b) is satisfied if the settlor tells X orally, ‘from now on I am holding Blackacre on trust for you’, and later that day writes to his solicitor telling him what he has done. The letter to the solicitor is written evidence that will satisfy s 53(1) (b).

    (b) Secondly, the written evidence must be signed by the person able to declare the trust. The person able to declare the trust will usually be the settlor.
  23. Constitution of a trust
    Valid creation of trust; valid constitution of trust

    - Incompletely constituted trusts will not be construed as declarations of trust by the settlor, just as imperfect gifts will not be construed as a declaration of trust (Milroy v Lord)

    - Incompletely constituted trusts are generally unenforceable by volunteer beneficiaries, but there are exceptions:

    (i) Where the settlor satisfied ‘every effort test’ (as for gifts).  (Milroy v Lord,  Re Rose and  Mascall v Mascall)

    (ii) (Possibly) where the donor intended an immediate trust and it has reached a point where it would be unconscionable for the donor to revoke the trust (as for gifts).  Pennington v Waine may be authority for this proposition in relation to gifts. There is no equivalent case in relation to incompletely constituted trusts.

    (iii) The rule in  Strong v Bird can also apply to ineffective transfers to trustees as it does to gifts.
  24. s53(1)(c) LPA 1925
    Disposition of equitable interests; formalities

    Whatever the reason for the transfer, if the equitable interest is to be transferred separately from the legal title then, by s 53(1)(c) of the Law of Property Act 1925, it must be in writing, otherwise the purported transfer is void.

    The written disposition can be signed by the person disposing of the interest (the transferor) or by his agent if the transferor has given the agent written authorisation to sign for him.
  25. Grey v IRC
    Disposition of equitable interests; formalities; s53(1)(c)

    Mr Hunter told his trustees to hold his shares on trust for himself (as a bare trust) and then redirected them orally to hold on trust for his grandchildren instead.

    The HofL decided he was attempting a disposition of his equitable interest, but as this was done orally (not in writing), it was ineffective having failed to meet the requirements in s53(1)(c).
  26. Vandervell v IRC
    Disposition of equitable interests; formalities; s53(1)(c)

    Section 53(1)(c) is only relevant when, in Lord Upjohn’s words, ‘dealings with the equitable estate are divorced from dealings with the legal estate’.

    In a bare trust, when the beneficiary directs the trustee to transfer the legal estate to a third party with the intention that the third party takes the equitable interest as well, s 53(1)(c) does not apply.

    The transfer of the legal title also effects the transfer of the equitable interest.
  27. IRC v Broadway Cottages
    Fixed trusts; certainty of objects

    The test for certainty of objects in a fi xed trust is the complete list test.

    In other words, it must be possible to draw up a comprehensive list of each and every beneficiary. Otherwise the trust fails.
  28. OT Computers
    Fixed trusts; certainty of objects

    A trust for 'urgent suppliers' failed through lack of certainty of objects; the term ‘urgent’ was too unclear.
  29. Re Hay's Settlement
    Power of appointment; duties of trustees

    The duties of a trustee which are specifi c to a mere power seem to be threefold. Apart from the obvious duty of obeying the trust instrument, and in particular of making no appointment that is not authorised by it, the trustee must:

    1) consider periodically whether or not he should exercise the power;

    2) consider the range of objects of the power; and

    3) consider the appropriateness of individual appointments.
  30. Re Manisty's Settlement
    Power of appointments; duties of trustees/ powers of beneficiaries

    If a person within the ambit of the power is aware of its existence he can require the trustees to consider exercising the power and in particular to consider a request on his part for the power to be exercised in his favour.

    The trustees must consider this request, and if they decline to do so or can be proved to have omitted to do so, then the aggrieved person may apply to the court which may remove the trustees and appoint others in their place.

    This, as I understand it, is the only right and only remedy of any object of the power …

    The court may also be persuaded to intervene by removing the trustees if the trustees act ‘capriciously’, that is to say, act for reasons which I apprehend could be said to be irrational, perverse or irrelevant to any sensible expectation of the settlor; for example, if they choose a benefi ciary by height or complexion or by the irrelevant fact that he was a resident of Greater London
  31. Re Gulbenkian Settlement
    Power of appointments; certainty of objects

    The test for certainty of objects for powers of appointment has always been the ‘given postulant’ test. The power is valid if it can be said with certainty whether any given postulant (individual) is or is not a member of the class of objects.
  32. McPhail v Doulton
    Discretionary trusts; certainty of objects; duties of trustee of discretionary trust

    • Certainty of object test
    • ‘The trust is valid if it can be said with certainty that any individual (or postulant) is or is not a member of the class.- Lord Wilberforce

    The House of Lords held that what was required to pass the given postulant test was ‘conceptual’ or ‘linguistic’ certainty; in other words, the settlor must have laid down sufficient criteria in the description of objects so that it is clear what sort of person will qualify. Lord Wilberforce provided some helpful examples:

    (a) The description ‘those to whom I am under a moral obligation’ is an example of conceptual uncertainty. It is not susceptible of legal definition. It would fail the given postulant test because it would not be possible to say of any given individual whether they fell within the description or not. A discretionary trust for such people would be void.

    (b) In contrast, ‘my first, second and third cousins’ is conceptually certain because it is capable of objective definition. Some third cousins may have difficulty proving that they are related if they lack the necessary documentary evidence. However, such evidential uncertainty will not cause the trust to fail. Further, difficulty in establishing the whereabouts of an object will not affect the validity of the trust.

    • Duties
    • 1) Duty to distribute trust fund to objects

    2) Duties to survey the class of objects, to consider whether the contemplated benefi ciary fell within the class of objects and whether, in relation to other objects, a grant to the contemplated benefi ciary was appropriate.

    Nb- for a power it is just No.2 (no duty to distribute)
  33. Re Baden's Deed Trust (No.2)
    Discretionary trust; certainty of object; any given postulant test

    The sticking point was whether it was possible to say with certainty that any given individual was or was not a ‘relative’ of an employee of the company.

    The Court of Appeal decided that ‘relatives’ was a certain description, but the judges gave different reasons.

    The issue was whether a description of objects was sufficiently certain if you could envisage people coming forward of whom you could not say, ‘he is in the class’, or ‘he is not in the class’, but of whom you would have to conclude, ‘I do not know whether he is in the class or not’.

    Stamp LJ was in the minority and said that if you could envisage such people, the discretionary trust would fail the given postulant test. To satisfy the test, it had to be possible to fit any individual in a ‘yes’ box or a ‘no’ box. If an individual had to go in a ‘don’t know’ box, the trust would be invalid due to uncertainty of objects. Stamp LJ upheld the Matthew Hall Staff Trust Fund, however, because he defined ‘relatives’ as meaning ‘next-of-kin’, which meant that there could be no ‘don’t knows’.

    Sachs and Megaw LJ J defined relatives as meaning ‘descendants from a common ancestor’. Of course, this is much wider than ‘next-of-kin’ and one could envisage numerous ‘don’t knows’. However, they both decided that the trust was valid. Sachs LJ said that conceptual certainty was essential (and was present here because relatives meant descendants from a common ancestor). The burden was on the claimant to prove that he was in the class of objects and, if he could not, then he fell into the ‘is not’ part of the given postulant test. Difficulty in proving that one comes within the conceptually clear description of the class is evidential and should not cause failure of the trust.

    Megaw LJ held that if one can say of a substantial number of individuals that they are within the class, the trust is valid even though as regards a substantial number of others one has to say that they are outside the class or that you do not know whether they are in or out.

    In summary, the majority in  Re Baden’s Deed Trust (No 2) decided that a discretionary trust for ‘relatives’ of employees and ex-employees was valid. It satisfied the given postulant test because it was possible to say of any individual whether they were or were not a relative of the employee or ex-employee.

    ■ The term ‘relatives’ was conceptually certain and meant descendants from a common ancestor.

    ■ The fact that you could envisage some individuals coming forward who would not be able to prove that they were a relative amounted to evidential uncertainty, which should not cause the discretionary trust to fail.
  34. R v District Auditor ex p West Yorkshire
    Discretionary trusts; administrative unworkability

    The Council was on the point of being abolished and created a discretionary trust of £400,000 for any or some of the inhabitants of West Yorkshire (about 2.5 million in number) to be benefited in any of a number of specified ways, eg providing assistance for youth, ethnic and minority groups.

    It was held that the trust was invalid because the size of the class of objects rendered it administratively unworkable. The reason why such large trusts are regarded as invalid is not entirely clear.

    There was a hint in the West Yorkshire case that it was really a non-charitable purpose trust, that none of the inhabitants had a sufficiently direct benefit to be able to enforce the trust, and it therefore offended the benefi ciary principle.

    Another theory is that massive numbers prevent trustees from carrying out their duties of surveying the class of objects properly and in turn prevent a rational, sensible distribution of the trust property.


    Nb- Administrative unworkability does not cause the failure of powers of appointment. Powers of appointment for everyone in the world are permitted- Re Hay’s Settlement Trusts [1982]
  35. Re Manisty's Settlement
    Discretionary trusts & powers; capriciousness

    Capriciousness will make both discretionary trusts and powers void. ‘Capricious’ means irrational. Templeman J said:

    A power to benefit ‘residents of greater London’ is capricious because the terms of the power negative any sensible intention on the part of the settlor. If the settlor intended and expected the trustees would have regard to persons with some claim on his bounty or some interest in an institution favoured by the settlor, or if the settlor had any other sensible intention or expectation, he would not have required the trustees to consider only an accidental conglomeration of persons who have no discernible link with the settlor or any institution.

    A capricious power negatives a sensible consideration by the trustees of the exercise of the power.
  36. Morice v Bishop of Durham
    Valid declaration of trust; the beneficiary principle

    Every trust … must have a definite object. There must be somebody in whose favour the Court can decree performance
  37. Charities Act 2011 (requirements for a charitable purpose trust)
    Valid declaration of trust; the beneficiary principle; exception- charity trusts

    The three requirements for a charitable purpose trust are:

    1) it must have a charitable purpose;

    - Section 2(1) of the Charities Act 2011 provides that a charitable purpose is a purpose which:

    (a) falls within section 3(1), and

    (b) is for the public benefit (see section 4).

    Section 3(1) of the Charities Act 2011 provides:

    • A purpose falls within this  subsection if it falls within any of the following descriptions of
    • purposes—

    (a) the prevention or relief of poverty;

    (b) the advancement of education;

    (c) the advancement of religion;

    (d) the advancement of health or the saving of lives;

    (e) the advancement of citizenship or community development;

    (f) the advancement of the arts, culture, heritage or science;

    (g) the advancement of amateur sport;

    • (h) the advancement of human rights, conflict resolution or reconciliation or the promotion of religious or racial harmony or equality and
    • diversity;

    (i) the advancement of environmental protection or improvement;

    (j) the relief of those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage;

    (k) the advancement of animal welfare;

    • (l) the promotion of the efficiency of the armed forces of the Crown, or of the efficiency of the police, fire and rescue services or ambulance
    • services.

    2) it must have sufficient public benefit

    • - s 4(3) of the Charities Act 2011 states:In
    • this Part any reference to the public benefit is a reference to the public benefit as that term is understood for the purposes of the law
    • relating to charities in England and Wales

    The Charity Commission has given guidance and said that to be for the public benefit, the charity must adhere to two principles:

    - There must be an identifiable benefit or benefits

    - The benefit must be to the public large or a section of the public

    3) it must be exclusively charitable- (s11)

    For example, political purposes will cause the charitable purpose trust to fail on this limb (Amnesty International).

    Also, if the trust seeks to set up a charitable trust (eg nursing home) that runs at a profit, it will fail on this limb.
  38. IRC v Baddeley
    Valid declaration of trust; the beneficiary principle; exception- charity trusts; requirements of a valid charity trust; the benefit must be to the public at large

    A trust for the promotion of the religious, social and physical training of residents of West Ham who were or were likely to become Methodists was held not charitable.

    Viscount Simmonds distinguished ‘a form of relief extended to the whole community yet by its very nature advantageous only to the few, and a form of relief accorded to a selected few out of a larger number equally willing and able to take advantage of it’.

    • The trust in question fell within the second category. Restricting the benefits to a particular area would not have been objectionable, but further limiting the trust to Methodists within that area made the group a class within a class, and they were not a sufficient section of the public to satisfy the public benefit requirement of charitable
    • trusts.
  39. Re Compton
    Valid declaration of trust; the beneficiary principle; exception- charity trusts; requirements of a valid charity trust; the benefit must be to the public at large

    Unless the charity’s aims are the relief of poverty, the benefit must not be restricted to those who have a personal nexus (such as relationship to given individuals)
  40. Oppenheim v Tobacco Securities
    Valid declaration of trust; the beneficiary principle; exception- charity trusts; requirements of a valid charity trust; the benefit must be to the public at large

    Unless the charity’s aims are the relief of poverty, the benefit must not be restricted to those who have a personal nexus (such as employment by a common employer)
  41. Independent Schools Council v Charity Commission
    Valid declaration of trust; the beneficiary principle; exception- charity trusts; requirements of a valid charity trust; the benefit must be to the public at large

    • In order to be charitable, a private school must make more than a de minimis or token provision for the less well-off. Such provision should focus on direct benefits which could include (in descending order of importance) scholarships and bursaries, arrangements allowing students from local state schools
    • to attend classes in subjects not otherwise available to them, the sharing of teachers or teaching facilities with local schools and the
    • sharing of sports fields, swimming pools etc.

    Once the de miminis threshold is satisfied, what trustees should do is a matter for them to decide in the circumstances of the particular school.
  42. Re Astor's Settlement
    Valid declaration of trust; certainty of objects; the beneficiary principle; non-charitable purpose trusts

    The general rules is that non-charitable purpose trusts will be invalid.

    Here trustees were directed to apply trust income for:(a) ‘The establishment, maintenance and improvement of good understanding …between nations’; and

    (b) ‘The preservation of the independence and integrity of newspapers

    This was invalid for two reasons:

    • (1) From the beneficiary's perspective
    • It offended the beneficiary principle. The trust was for non-charitable purposes and there was no beneficiary entitled to the trust funds who could enforce the trust against the
    • trustees. A trust arises only if there is a trustee who is subject to an ‘equitable obligation’. A person is not subject to any
    • obligation unless there is someone to enforce it.

    • (2) From the trustees perspective
    • The second reason for the trust failing was uncertainty of objects. The trust gave no guidance as to how the purposes were to be performed. This uncertainty would not only paralyse the trustees but would also
    • prevent the court from controlling the trust and carrying out the  purpose if the trustees should fail to do so.
  43. Re Dean
    Valid declaration of trust; the beneficiary principle; non-charitable purpose trusts- exception

    Trusts for the maintenance of a pet may be valid.
  44. Re Hooper
    Valid declaration of trust; the beneficiary principle; non-charitable purpose trusts- exception

    Trusts for the maintenance of a tomb may be valid.

    Also, trusts for 'as long as the law allows' will be taken as referring to last as long as the perpetuity period in law.
  45. Re Denley
    Valid declaration of trust; the beneficiary principle; non-charitable purpose trusts- exception (for benefit of identifiable beneficiaries)

    Goff J said that ‘where … the trust, though expressed as a purpose, is directly for the benefit of an individual or individuals … it is in general outside the mischief of the beneficiary principle’. (eg for the education of my children)

    Here, a plot of land was transferred to trustees, to be held on trust to be maintained and used for the purpose of a sports and recreation ground for the benefit of employees of a particular company and for such other persons as the trustees might allow.

    The duration of the trust was limited to the perpetuity period.

    Goff J said that, while the trust was expressed as a purpose, it was directly or indirectly for the benefit of individuals, namely, the employees. The benefit was sufficiently tangible to allow them to go to court to enforce the trust, and it did not therefore offend the beneficiary principle and was valid.

    • Basically, Goff J distinguished trusts where ascertainable individuals have a direct or indirect benefit, on the one hand, from trusts where the benefit to individuals is too
    • intangible for them to qualify as beneficiaries with rights to enforce  the trust.

    Trusts like Re Astor fall into the second category and are void.

    • Nb- this could not be a charitable trust because it was not for a sufficiently large section of the public (it was restricted to a
    • personal nexus, an employer- Oppenheim)
  46. Denley trusts certainy of objects
    Valid declaration of trust; certainty of objects; Denley trusts

    Denley trusts also have beneficiaries, and they too must be certain. It is thought that Denley trusts must satisfy the given postulant test laid down in McPhail v Doulton.

    • Also the number of people to benefit must not be so large that the trust would be administratively unworkable. R v District Auditor, ex p West Yorkshire Metropolitan CC
    • was an example of a Denley trust, because the trustees were to carry out specified purposes for the benefit of the inhabitants of West Yorkshire.
  47. Re Recher's Will Trust
    Valid declaration of trust; the beneficiary principle; how to construct a trust to a non-incorporated association (a gift)

    The testatrix left a share of her residuary estate ‘to the London and Provincial Anti-Vivisection Society’.

    1) The Society was not charitable because some of its aims were political.

    2) The court had to decide whether the gift could be construed in such a way that would make it valid. They decided it could. It should be seen as an outright gift to the members of the association, as an accretion to the association’s funds to be dealt with in accordance with the rules.

    Such legacies will not offend the beneficiary principle; they are gifts to the members.

    3) Further, the rule against inalienability is satisfied if the rules allow the members to dissolve the funds at any time (se Re Grant)
  48. Re Grant's Will Trust
    Valid declaration of trust; the beneficiary principle; how to construct a trust to a non-incorporated association (a gift)

    The testator wanted to give his estate to the Chertsey and Walton Constituency Labour Party (a non-charitable unincorporated association).

    His will duly contained a gift to the committee in charge of property for the benefit of the Chertsey and Walton Constituency Labour Party.

    After the testator died, the court was asked to decide whether the legacy was valid.

    • The local Chertsey and Walton Constituency Party did not have complete autonomy; it was subject to rules laid down by the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party and the national annual party conference. The members of the local constituency party
    • were not free to dispose of the party’s property in any way they thought
    • fit.

    Unlike Recher, it therefore offended the rules against inalienability.

    The members of the organisation were not able to freely distribute the funds. It would be held in perpetuity and fail.

    Therefore, it is essential to check the rules of the club/ society to ascertain how the funds can be used.
  49. Re Lipinksi's Trust
    Valid declaration of trust; the beneficiary principle; how to construct a trust to a non-incorporated association (alternative methods of construction)

    Harry Lipinski left half of his residuary estate to the ‘Hull Judeans (Maccabi) Association in memory of my late wife’ and added a purpose ‘to be used solely in constructing the new buildings for the Association and/or improvements to the said buildings’.

    -This could not be a charity trust. The purpose was too narrow-

    It could be construed in one of two ways:

    • 1) He said that the legacy could be construed as a gift to the members as an accretion to club funds in accordance with Re Recher because the members would be the beneficiaries of the new buildings and, when  completed, the new buildings would belong to the members beneficially
    • just like the rest of the Association’s property. Thus, it would seem that the Recher construction is not confined to outright gifts to unincorporated associations; it also applies where the testator specifies a purpose, so long as that purpose benefits the members of the association.

    2) As an alternative ground for his decision, Oliver J said Mr Lipinski’s disposition would be valid even if one regarded it as a trust for the purpose of constructing and improving buildings. Such a trust would not offend the beneficiary principle because the members of the Maccabi Association would derive sufficient benefit from the buildings to be able to enforce the trust (as in Re Denley).

    In short, the trust was held to be valid following either Re Recher or Re Denley.
  50. Westdeutshce Landesbank v Islington
    Resulting trust (presumptions)

    A resulting trust arises in two sets of circumstances:

    (a) voluntary transfer/purchase money resulting trusts;

    (b) incomplete disposal of trust’s equitable interest.
  51. Thavorn v Bank of Credit and Commerce
    Resulting trust; voluntary transfers

    X transfers property to Y. No consideration is supplied by Y. There is no evidence as to X’s intention when making the transfer. The presumption is that Y holds the property on resulting trust for X.

    • Here, a woman opened a bank account in the name of her nephew, who was under 18. She
    • gave instructions to the bank that she alone was to operate the account.

    It was held that the presumption was of resulting trust (in the absence of evidence to the contrary).

    • Rebutting the presumption
    • There was no evidence of intention to benefit the nephew, which would have rebutted the presumption (ie that a gift was intended)
  52. s60(3) LPA 1925
    Resulting trust; voluntary transfers (of land)

    • This somewhat obscure provision is sometimes taken to mean that there will
    • never be a resulting trust after a voluntary transfer of land.

    • The general view, however, is that it is possible for there to be a resulting trust, but that there must be some additional factor, such as the fact that the parties were strangers, which would point to a
    • resulting trust.
  53. Abrahams v Trustee in Bankruptcy of Abrahams
    Resulting trust; purchase money trusts

    • Mr and Mrs A were each members of a National Lottery syndicate at their local pub. There were 15 members in total. Mrs A paid £2 per week, £1 for herself and £1 for Mr A. She continued to do so even after they had separated, and so Mr A continued to be a member, even though it was Mrs A who paid ‘his’  contributions. It was clear that Mrs A in effect now had two shares, and the other syndicate members did not object. Mr A was
    • declared bankrupt, and then the syndicate won £3,632,327. Mr A’s trustee in bankruptcy claimed Mr A’s one-fi fteenth share, namely £242,155.

    It was held that Mr A held his share on resulting trust for Mrs A.

    • Rebutting the presumption
    • There was no intention of gift to rebut the presumption of resulting trust. Thus Mr A’s share belonged in equity to Mrs A, and was not available for Mr A’s creditors.
  54. Parrott v Parkin
    Resulting trust; purchase money trusts (chattels)

    This case shows that the presumption applied to a chattel, namely, a yacht. The yacht was registered in Y’s sole name, although X contributed 55% of the purchase price.

    In the absence of evidence of an intended gift, it was held that Y held the yacht on resulting trust as to 55% for X.
  55. Sekhon v Alissa
    Resulting trust; purchase money cases; transfers within a family

    A mother provided £22,500 to help her daughter buy a house. The presumption of resulting trust was applied.

    • Presumption of advancement
    • This does not apply to mothers/daughters

    • Rebutting presumption of resulting trust
    • As the money comprised almost all the mother’s life savings, she was unlikely to have intended a gift.
  56. Curley v Parkes
    Resulting trust; purchase money cases; when must contributions to purchase money be made?

    It was held that to generate an equitable interest under a resulting trust, the payment towards the purchase price must be made at the time of acquisition of the property.

    Therefore, mortgage repayments or paying for home improvements will not suffice.
  57. Presumption of advancement
    This presumption applies to voluntary transfers (and purchases) in three situations:

    (a) when X is Y’s father (the child can be a minor or an adult, but must be legitimate)- Bennet v Bennet;

    (b) when X stands in loco parentis in relation to Y- Bennet v Bennet; and

    (c) when X is Y’s husband or fiancé- Pettitt v Pettitt.
  58. McGrath v Wallis
    Presumption of advancement; rebutting the presumption

    A father (who was unemployed at the time) and son both provided some of the purchase money to buy a house. The house was conveyed into the son’s name alone at the request of the mortgage provider, who did not lend to people of the father’s age.

    When the father died, the son claimed that the father’s contribution to the purchase price was a gift to him by reason of the presumption of advancement.

    This was rejected. The reason for the house being in the son’s sole name was a technicality; it was not a gift, and so the presumption of advancement was rebutted.
  59. Marshal v Crutwell
    Presumption of advancement; rebutting the presumption

    A husband transferred his bank account into the joint names of himself and his wife.

    The presumption of advancement was rebutted by evidence that the reason for doing this was convenience, and not by way of gift.
  60. Warren v Gurney
    Presumption of advancement; rebutting the presumption

    A father purchased a house in his daughter’s name at the time of her wedding. The obvious inference would be that it was a gift.

    But the father retained the title deeds until his death, and there was evidence that the father intended his son-in-law to repay the cost of the house. This rebutted the presumption of advancement.
  61. Loosemore v McDonnell
    Presumption of resulting trust; rebutting the presumption

    A father-in-law had supplied £110,000 towards the purchase of a matrimonial home for his son and daughter-in-law. Requiring 24-hour care, he moved in with the couple.

    When the marriage ended, the question was whether the money was a loan or a gift, either of which would rebut the presumption of resulting trust as regards the daughter-in-law.

    The CofA found that the presumption of a resulting trust had been rebutted. At the time of the purchase the father-in-law had confirmed that he claimed no interest in the money, and that he had no wish to secure the money by a charge over the house. This was clear evidence that a gift, and not a loan, was intended. If a loan is intended, this should be evidenced.
  62. Shephard v Cartwright
    Presumption of a resulting trust; rebutting the presumption

    Claimants attempting to rebut the relevant presumption may produce in evidence only acts done and statements made at the time of the transactions, not subsequent self-justifying statements or acts.

    Subsequent declarations are admissible only against the party who made them, and not in his favour.
  63. Gascoigne v Gascoigne
    Presumption of a resulting trust/ advancement; rebutting the presumption; admissibility of evidence

    The basic proposition is that the courts will not allow a party to rebut one of the presumptions by adducing evidence of his own illegality or fraud.

    ‘He who comes to equity must come with clean hands.’ 

    Here, the husband, badly in debt, purchased a lease of land, but arranged for it to be put in his wife’s name to avoid his creditors.

    When the relationship ended, he sought to rebut the presumption of advancement by explaining the reason for putting the lease in his wife’s name, but was not permitted to do so on public policy grounds.
  64. Tribe v Tribe
    Presumption of advancement; rebutting the presumption; admissibility of evidence; illegality- exception to the rule

    Here, the Court of Appeal held that evidence of an illegal purpose is admissible if the illegal purpose was never carried out.

    Mr Tribe senior owned a majority shareholding in a company but was advised that he might be forced to sell the shares to meet the claims of his landlord who was threatening court action. Mr Tribe duly transferred the shares to his son (with a view to protecting the shares rather than intending a gift to his son).

    As things turned out, this transfer was unnecessary because the landlord’s claim was settled out of court. When Mr Tribe reclaimed the shares, his son refused to part with them. Could the father rebut the presumption of advancement by evidence that the transfer to his son was an arrangement to deceive creditors and he intended a resulting trust all along?

    The Court of Appeal accepted the general principle that the presumption of advancement cannot be rebutted by evidence of an illegal purpose but held there was an exception if the illegal purpose had not been carried into effect (ie the creditors had not been deceived).

    When the father demanded return of the shares, the landlord knew nothing about the transfer and it had not prejudiced the landlord in any way. Therefore, the father was able to rebut the presumption of advancement and establish a resulting trust by producing evidence of his illegal purpose.

    The crucial question is whether the transfer or purchase in another’s name has deceived the third party:

    (a) Before any third party is deceived, the transferor/purchaser can introduce evidence of their illegal intent to rebut the presumption of advancement and establish a resulting trust.

    (b) After the third party has been deceived, the transferor/purchaser will not succeed in reclaiming the property because it is too late for him to use evidence of his illegal intent to rebut the presumption of advancement.
  65. Tinsley v Milligan
    Presumption of a resulting trust; rebutting the presumption; admissibility of evidence; illegality- exception to the rule


    Here, M and T both contributed to the purchase price of a house, but it was conveyed into the name of T alone. The reason was to enable M to represent to the Department of Social Security that she was a lodger and was therefore entitled to various State benefits.

    After the breakdown of the relationship, M claimed to own a half share in the house, because she had contributed to the purchase money and thus a resulting trust arose in her favour. T argued that the court should not enforce the resulting trust because it shielded an illegal purpose and M did not have clean hands.

    The House of Lords held that M was entitled to rely on the presumption of resulting trust to claim a half share in the house.  The court will not allow claims to succeed where claimants have to produce evidence of an illegal purpose to prove their case. However, M could establish her case without referring to her illegal actions. She had an equitable interest in the house under a resulting trust because she had contributed to the purchase price.

    There was no need for her to disclose why the property had been conveyed into the name of another person and thereby reveal the illegal motive. Therefore, the House of Lords allowed her case because the illegal purpose played no part in her argument.  A claimant at law can enforce his property right provided that his claim to the legal interest does not depend on some illegality.

    In other words, a legal claimant will succeed if he can establish his right without having to rely on evidence of illegality. Lord Browne-Wilkinson thought that there should be no difference between common law and equity on this point.
  66. Paragon Finance
    Constructive trusts

    Lord Millett: A constructive trust arises by operation of law whenever the circumstances are such that it would be unconscionable for the owner of property to assert his beneficial interest in the property.
  67. Stack v Dowdon
    Constructive trusts; legal ownership in joint names

    Where a domestic property was conveyed into the joint names of cohabitants without any declaration of trust there was a prime facie case that both the legal and beneficial interests in the property were joint and equal.

    However, in this particular case, there were unusual circumstances. The parties had kept their respective finances separate over a period of 20 years. There was no indication that they had intended any pooling of their resources. It was held that the defendant was able to show that there was a common intention that the parties should not own equally. Looking at the whole course of dealing, it was decided that the equitable ownership should be 60:40.
  68. Burns v Burns
    Constructive trusts; legal ownership in one name; what is needed to establish a constructive trust?

    An unmarried cohabitee, Mrs Burns, lived for 19 years with the defendant, bringing up two children. The defendant provided most of the housekeeping money. Mrs Burns worked intermittently, using her earnings to contribute to the housekeeping and towards fi xtures and fittings.

    It was held that as she did not contribute to the acquisition of the home, she could not therefore attain a beneficial interest in it.
  69. Lloyds Bank v Rosset
    Constructive trusts; legal ownership in one name; what is needed to establish a constructive trust?

    Lord Bridge in the HofL confirmed the two criteria which must be present to establish a constructive trust over a family home. They are:

    (1) A common intention. A constructive trust will only be established if the parties held a common intention to share ownership of the land. This intention may be:

    a) express (ie an assurance by the legal owner, Y, that X has an equitable interest); or

    • b) inferred from conduct
    • -  The court will infer a common intention from direct contributions to the purchase price (such as contributions to the purchase price or deposit or mortgage). However, Lord Bridge doubted whether courts should infer a common intention from any other contribution.

    Non-financial acts such as looking after the family, will not lead to the inference. Also, as a result of  Rosset, it was thought that payment of household expenses other than the mortgage, would not lead the court to infer a common intention to share ownership of the house.

    (2) Detrimental reliance. The party claiming an equitable interest by way of constructive trust must also show that he acted to his detriment in reliance on the common intention.

    - Lord Bridge said this meant that the claimant had to show that she had ‘significantly altered her position in reliance on the agreement’ (this would require some sort of causal link to the common intention- ie they wouldn't have acted in such a way anyway)
  70. Le Foe v Le Foe
    Constructive trusts; legal ownership in one name; what is needed to establish a constructive trust; common intention inferred by conduct

    Unlike, in Rosset the High Court judge felt able to infer a common intention from an express agreement that one party should pay the mortgage and certain outgoings, and the other party should meet all the other (substantial) household expenses.

    The trend is to look at the whole course of dealing between the parties to discover their common intention, and not to concentrate solely on direct contributions to the purchase of the property
  71. Jones v Kernott
    Constructive trusts; legal ownership in one name; quantifying interests under constructive trusts

    The Supreme Court considered the correct approach.

    The first issue for the court was to consider whether the claimant had an equitable interest at all.

    If such an interest arose under a constructive trust, the next issue for the court was to quantify the interest.

    The majority held that if it was not possible to ascertain what shares the parties intended by direct evidence or by inference, then each party would be entitled to the share which the court considered to be fair having regard to the whole course of dealing. The ‘whole course of dealing’ encompassed not only financial contributions but also the other factors considered to be relevant evidence in Stack v Dowden.
  72. Pascoe v Turner
    Proprietary estoppel; active assurance of rights

    The legal owner of a house had repeatedly told his unmarried partner that the house was hers.

    He was estopped from denying her an interest in the house after she had effected improvements, repairs and decoration in reliance on his assurances. The legal owner had stood by and acquiesced in her doing the work and spending what amounted to a few hundred pounds.

    Contrary to s 53(1)(b) of the Law of Property Act 1925, there was no written evidence of a declaration of trust in her favour, but nevertheless equity would not allow him to deny his assurances when he had allowed the claimant to act to her detriment.

    • Remedy
    • Transfer of the freehold to a claimant who probably expected a home for life (not just a license)
  73. Inwards v Baker
    Proprietary estoppel; passive assurance of rights

    A father persuaded his son to build a bungalow on the father’s land. It was then unconscionable for the father to claim that as the bungalow was on his land, it belonged to him.
  74. Gillett v Holt
    Proprietary estoppel

    Lord Walker said that the doctrine of proprietary estoppel cannot be neatly subdivided into three or four watertight compartments. The assurance or encouragement, reliance and detriment are all intertwined.

    The court should ask the broader question of whether it is unconscionable to deny the claimant what was promised or understood.

    However, if assurance or encouragement, reliance and detriment are present, then it is usually unconscionable to deny the claimant what was promised.

    G worked for H, a gentleman farmer, from childhood for nearly 40 years. G worked for little pay. He incurred expenditure on the farmhouse. As Robert Walker LJ stated: ‘ Mr G and his wife devoted the best years of their lives working for Mr H.’

    They went far beyond the usual extent of an employee’s duties. G refused offers of alternative employment. Why?  Because H repeatedly assured G that he would leave his entire estate to him.

    • Remedy
    • the court ordered H’s estate to transfer the farm to fulfil H’s assurances. A similar order was made in Thorner v Major
  75. Thorner v Major
    Proprietary estoppel

    Like Gillett v Holt, this was another case of a claimant who worked for many years for a farmer, this time for no pay. Various oblique remarks were made by the farmer which led the claimant at first to hope and later to expect that he would inherit the farm on the farmer’s death.

    Unlike in Gillett v Holt, however, the farmer was a man of few words who never stated that he intended the claimant to inherit the farm. Fortunately for the claimant, the House of Lords did find there was sufficient evidence for the assurance to be established.

    As Lord Walker explained:

    I would … say (while conscious that it is a thoroughly question-begging formulation) that to establish a proprietary estoppel the relevant assurance must be clear enough. What amounts to sufficient clarity, in a case of this sort, is hugely dependent on context
  76. Re Basham
    Proprietary estoppel; detrimental reliance

    An of detrimental reliance example would be looking after an elderly person in exchange for a promise that that person would leave the house to the carer.

    However, as this case demonstrated, this must be well beyond ‘what was called for by natural love and affection'.

    Here, the claimant looked after the deceased, her stepfather, in reliance on his assurance that she would inherit the house he lived in, paid for by the claimant’s mother.

    The judge explained:

    The [claimant] did a very great deal for the deceased, and it is clear that she did not receive any commensurate reward for this during his lifetime. There is some evidence, though not very much, of occasions when the [claimant] or husband acted or refrained from acting in a way in which they might not have done but for their expectation of inheriting the deceased’s property: I refer to the occasions when the husband refrained from selling his building land, and refrained from taking a job in Lincolnshire which would have made it impossible for the [claimant] to continue caring for her mother and the deceased, and the occasions when the [claimant] instructed solicitors at her own expense in connection with the boundary dispute between the deceased and [his neighbour], and the expenditure of time and money on the house and garden and on carpeting the house, when the deceased had ample means of his own to pay for such matters.

    It may be that none of these incidents, taken by itself, would be very significant, but the cumulative effect of them supports the view that the [claimant] and her husband subordinated their own interests to the wishes of the deceased.

    Mr Browne submitted that all this could be attributed to the [claimant’s] natural love and affection for her stepfather; but in my judgment the [claimant’s] acts went well beyond what was called for by natural love and affection for someone to whom she had no blood relationship, and both she and her husband made it very clear in their evidence that there was no great love and affection between her husband and the deceased, and that he was only willing to pay for meals that the [claimant] provided for the deceased and to work as he did in the garden of the cottage because of the expectation that the deceased’s estate would in due course pass to the [claimant].

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