Hi, need to submit a 1000 words essay on the topic This is a Equity and Trust Law (LLB) question ‘To what extent is the beneficiary principle still important in modern trusts law’.
The principle of the “human beneficiary was first set out in the case of Morice v Bishop of Durham2. Since equity starts out in the form of a measure of “confidence reposed in some other” which imposes “a duty or aggregate accumulation of obligations” that connotes some beneficial interest3, therefore in the absence of beneficiaries with equitable interests in the assets of the trust, there will be no one in whose favor the Court can decree performance and therefore the trust will fail.4 Alternatively, when there is no clearly identified human beneficiary, a trust could be classified as a charitable trust where the beneficiaries will extend to an entire class of people rather than being restricted to specific individuals, thereby satisfying the beneficiary principle without a clearly identified human beneficiary. However, in order to qualify as a charitable trust, it must satisfy one of the four purposes spelt out in the case of Pemsel5, i.e, (a) advancement of religion (b) advancement of education (c) relief of poverty and (d) other purposes beneficial to the community. Alternatively, as specified in the case of Re Endacott, “a trust not being a charitable trust, in order to be effective must have ascertained or ascertainable beneficiaries.”6 In the case of Re Lipinski Oliver J draws a distinction in a testamentary disposition, between a purpose which is invalid (excluding tombs, animals and monuments cases), and a ‘people trust’ which is valid.7 Therefore, the beneficiary principle essentially invalidates trusts which are purpose trusts, unless it is (a) charitable (b) has ascertained or ascertainable beneficiaries or (c) is a trust of imperfect obligation, such as a trust for the upkeep of particular animals as in the case of Re Dean where the testator wanted his horses and hounds maintained for 50 years8 or