This category contains 126 posts

Having the last word

Family financial arrangements are commonly not recorded in writing. For this reason questions as to whether a prior advance was a loan or a gift are not uncommon. Comins v Public Trust represents an unsuccessful application for a declaration that a sum of $50,000 was a gift, in circumstances where the deceased’s will provided that … Continue reading

Mother and son

Hey v Hey relates to a mother and son in dispute regarding the mother removing her son as a trustee of the trust that the mother settled with her now deceased husband. The trust in question (the BMA & DCL Hey Family Trust (the Trust)) was settled by Brian and Dorothy Hey. The trustees were … Continue reading

Time moves on

The decision in Enright v Enright has been successfully appealed and cross appealed (in part).  The fundamental conclusions reached in the High Court have been upheld, but with some significant finessing.  the Limitation Act defence has been overturned on the basis of a reasonable assessment of when a person in the applicant’s situation, with comparable education … Continue reading

Shaky Ground

Grand View Private Trust Company Ltd v Wong considers whether the exercise of a power to add a beneficiary (subsequent to which the entirety of the trust’s significant assets were transferred to that beneficiary) is valid. By way of background, the former individual beneficiaries of a substantial private discretionary trust sought to a challenge the … Continue reading

Charitable Control

The Diocesan School  Cayman investmentcontroversy invites consideration of what it is that a charity is and does.  Registered charities receive tax concessions and commonly also receive donations and bequests.  The donors may perceive a higher level of accountability or investment caution, as a result of that charitable status. However, that assumption (even if founded on the belief … Continue reading


The H J Bourke Family Trust (the Trust) vested in May 2019. The question for the Court was whether the following clause include the grandchildren with the children on a final distribution. “AFTER the expiration of the settlement period to stand possessed of the trust fund (including the said accumulations if any) being so much … Continue reading

The cost of being wrong

The case of Unkovich v Clapham provides an excellent example of the difficult decisions trustees must make when seeking to uphold decisions made by them in the face of opposition.  It is useful to first consider the principles that apply to trustee decision making, which are set out at [47] and [48] as follows: [47] … Continue reading

Back to Benjamin

Triple A Trustees Limited relates to a practical aspect of trusteeship, which is, the transfer of assets from one trustee to another without subsequent liability arising from doing so. The Triple A Trust (the Trust) is a foreign trust with a New Zealand resident trustee. Parties associated with the Trust were subject to United Kingdom … Continue reading

Capacity to pay

The Court of Appeal decision in Biggs v Biggs highlights the cost of litigation, whether on the side of the angels or otherwise. In this case the wife has incurred costs to date in excess of $1 million, which her evidence is, that she cannot pay. The husband’s costs are half that of the wife. … Continue reading

Put a ring on it

Beyoncé instructs in Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) the importance of not relying on assumptions or expectations.  The same might be said in Sutherland v Lane, the background of which is set out at [1] of the judgment as follows: “Michelle Sutherland had a close relationship with her uncle by marriage, the late … Continue reading