Formalities – Perfect/Imperfect Trust
The question in this case refers to the creation of a trust, i.e. the formalities that are required. In the case of Serena, she has created a trust that holds the property in trust for Alice for life and then the remainder goes to Alice’s children. On the death of Serena, there is a valid will where Alice gets all of the property and there is no interest for Alice’s children. Therefore, the following advice is going to identify a trust is in place, which will ensure that the property transfers to the children.
The Creation of a trust
The case of Milroy v Lord identifies a perfect trust, which includes; 1) a deed of the trust; and 2) ...view middle of the document...
However, it seems to be that the argument for these formalities is that they clarify the intention of the settlor.
S. 53(1)(c) of the Law of Property Act 1925 (LPA 1925) is now the defining piece of legislation for where trust formalities can be identified. In the case of Timpson’s Executers v Yerbury it was held that the formalities of a trust can be identified in the written disposition of the trust and the transferring of the property to the trustees. The interest in respect to Uncle Joe’s Trust is an equitable interest; therefore should comply with s. 53(1)(c). As this trust is in the original deed then it complies with the formalities of 53(1)(c) an like the Jane Austen’s novels form a perfect trust, as the deed identifies both the intention and the transfer of the “equitable interest” to the new trust. The shares are another example of an equitable interest; however as will be discussed later may not form a perfect trust due to deficiencies in formalities.
In the case of Alice some of the property has been adequately transferred through deed and transfer to the trustees; however there remain questions if the whole trust can be properly administered. If one considers the case of Neville v Wilson the indication is that the requisite intention is enough. However, the problem is that Neville v Wilson is in direct contradiction with s. 53(1)(c) of the LPA 1925, which states that “a disposition of an equitable interest… subsisting at the time of the disposition, must be in writing signed by the person disposing of the same, or by his agent thereunto lawfully authorised in writing or by his will”.
This would mean, the prima facie facts of the case, are that all of the property would have to be in the initial trust deed in order for it to be transferred on trust to Alice; whereby anything outside of it would return to the estate. However, it is not as simple as this. The case of Neville v Wilson needs to be reconciled and there are additional formalities required in respect to shares and land.
The Transfer of the Land:
In the case of the land s. 53(1)(b) states that a “declaration of trust respecting any land or interest therein must be manifested and proved by writing signed by the person who is able to declare such trust or by his will.” Therefore, the land must be transferred by deed to the trustees, which has been done in the case of Hillside; therefore it would indicate that as soon as the deeds to the property were transferred to the trustees the land has been moved into a trust. The exact route of transfer has been identified in the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 s. 2, which identifies that the deed needs to be properly signed by each party in the transfer . This means that the trustees must have signed for the exchange and the deeds in this case. The implication of this is not clear as the deed document has been transferred to the trustees, but the question is whether this deed shows the trustees as the...